What Is Iron Ore Used For

Iron Ore Usages

Iron ore is usually smelted to produce pig iron (metallic iron) which is used in the production of steel. Over 99% of all iron ore is used to make steel. Iron constitutes about five per cent of the Earth's crust and is the fourth most abundant element in the crust. Iron ore, in a powdered form, is used in magnets, auto parts, catalyst and cores that are high frequency. Small amounts of iron ore is used also in other applications such as coal wash plants and cement manufacturing. It is for this reason iron is perhaps one of the most important metals used in developed and developing economies

Iron Ore Smelting

To get to the bits of iron in the ore, you have to smelt it out. Smelting involves heating up ore until the metal becomes spongy and the chemical compounds in the ore begin to break down. The most primitive facility used to smelt iron is a bloomer. In a bloomer, the fire doesn't get hot enough to melt the iron completely. Instead, the iron heats up into a spongy mass containing iron and silicates from the ore. Heating and hammering this mass (called the bloom) forces impurities out and mixes the glassy silicates into the iron metal to create wrought iron. Wrought iron is hardy and easy to work, making it perfect for creating tools.

Iron Ore Types

The major rock types mined for the production of metallic iron are massive hematite, pisolitic goethite/limonite, which provide a 'high-grade' ore, and banded metasedimentary ironstone, magnetite-rich metasomatite, to a much lesser degree, rocks rich in siderite, rocks rich in chamosite which provide a 'low-grade' ore. Current world production of iron ore is dominated by supply from massive hematite deposits.