Iron finds its use in
- Home construction process.
- Heavy machinery
- Security systems
- In bridge construction.
Iron is probably the most widely used metals in the world.
It has been in use since ages by man for his every day needs.
Iron has some special properties compared to other metal which keeps it in high demand.
Its toughness, resistance to harsh conditions and strength make is suitable for hard tasks.
It may be very hard to imagine advanced machinery and tools without presence of iron on the earth.
There is no other metal which can be a substitute to it in few applications.
Food & Medicine: Iron is the constituent of hemoglobin (HB) in the red blood cells of our body. It is also present in other enzymes form in all the animals. The heme (iron) part of the pigment HB in the red blood cells induces red color to blood. This hemoglobin is important for transport of oxygen from lungs to different tissues in the body. Iron in the pigment, reversibly binds to the oxygen in lungs and releases it in tissues and cells. When, the RBC cells are damaged, the iron content is stored in the body to make new RBC cells. But, if the pigment levels fall down, there is insufficient oxygen supply leading to anemia. So, during such conditions, physicians’ advice to have high iron content food stuffs like green leafy vegetables.
Medicine: Iron tablets are prescribed for iron deficiency blood conditions like anemia. Due to inadequate food intake, menstruation or pregnancy, one tends fall short of this Heme. The normal range of HB in man is 11 to 16g/dl. But when the levels go below these levels the condition is termed as hypochromic anemia. Which means less colored (blood) anemia?
Tablets containing iron compounds like ferrous fumerate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate etc are used. For old people and children, it is given in liquid forms. For adults it is given in tablet and capsule format.The iron is taken up by the body to restore iron reserves in it.
In agriculture: Iron is a micro-nutrient in plants having diverse role in their physiology. Iron deficiency leads to few diseases. Hence iron is used in agriculture to maintain proper growth of plants. Iron concentration is critical for plants. Organic iron is the from by which it is absorbed from soil by plants.
Home & construction materials: Many cooking and kitchen ware and products are made of stainless steel which is made from iron. This form of iron does not get rust but is also strong and durable
Besides, home and building constructions rely a lot on iron. It is used in foundations, roofs and even pillars of the building and homes. It is used as iron long rods in combination with concrete and cement. Adding iron to the construction gives strength and durability to the construction. Also the presence of iron rods helps to bear intense weight.
Especially steel carbon can be used in making roof tops by a RCC mixture.
Automobiles: Automobiles are built to a large extent with iron. Except for a few, where in aluminum is used to give light weight to the body. But the main frame work and other parts like pistons, wires, wheel bearings are made of iron.
Grey cast iron is used in making engine piston cylinder cases, gear boxes and other tools. While white cast iron is used to make bearings.
Again here iron is preferred for its toughness, ability to withstand high temperature of engine etc.
Heavy machines: Heavy machines like cranes, road rollers, bore machines are made of iron to a large extent. Even transfer chains, tumblers, mixers etc. in factories are made of iron.
Also the magnetic properties iron has makes it useful for making electric mortars and fans which run on electricity.
Fencing: Fencing or boundary wire of farms and grounds are made of iron.
Compared to other metals, iron is cheaper and also more durable. It can withstand the environmental wear and tear for long.
Even minute fences which can prevent insect entry into homes and building like mosquito mesh are also made of iron (steel)
Furnaces: Furnaces are used to heat the substance to as high as even 1000 degree centigrade temperature or more. Such furnaces are made of materials like cement beside iron in them. Even the tools to operate in the furnace are made of iron. Using other metals is not possible due to their chances of melting at such high temperatures.
Tools: Most of the tools we use in daily life like spanners, screw drivers, compass etc. are made of iron. Even scientific machinery, research instruments use iron for making.
Security systems: Security systems likes bank lockers, locks, keys, safes, cupboards are made of iron. This is due to the heaviness and also toughness of the metal.
Pipes: Another place where iron is largely used is pipes for supply of water. This can be from municipal storage to homes, from wells into farms etc. Pipes made of iron are durable and chances of leaks due to small damage are very less. They can tolerate the harsh climatic conditions and oxidation. So, they can be of long standing service if laid once. Even gas cylinders used to deliver gas for medicine or natural cooking gas are made of iron.
In bridge construction: Many worlds’ famous bridges like Brooklyn are built of iron to a large extent. The ductile strength and hard of iron gives them strength to bear the heavy weight.
Without iron it would have difficult to build many big bridges, monuments (Eiffel tower) and skyscraper buildings.
Besides this iron is an essential element and considered as micro nutrient for plants and animals.