What Is Wrought Iron?

Wrought iron has long been seen as a symbol of strength and unity, but what is it exactly?

Wrought iron is a type of iron alloy that is created through a process of heating and hammering that results in a material that is both malleable and strong.

Although it has been around for centuries, wrought iron still holds a special place in the hearts of builders, artisans, and everyday people alike.

Its unique composition and properties make it a versatile material that has been used in a variety of ways, from ornamental applications to large-scale structural projects.

In this article, we will explore the definition, composition, manufacturing process, and applications of wrought iron, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

Through this exploration, we hope to provide a better understanding of this ancient material and its timeless appeal. Make sure to check out our Wrought Iron Patio Furniture Guide before you leave!

Definition of Wrought Iron

Through a process of smelting, shaping, and hammering, a material is formed that has unique properties that make it distinct from other metals.

This material is known as wrought iron.

Wrought iron is a low-carbon iron alloy with a tensile strength of 52,000 psi that is resistant to rust and corrosion.

Due to its strength, it is commonly used for structural purposes and is often found in railings, fences, and gates.

Its malleability also allows for decorative uses, such as furniture, sculptures, and grills.

As it is made up mostly of iron, it can be prone to rusting and corroding if not properly treated.

To prevent this, wrought iron is typically coated with zinc, paint, or powder coating and regularly maintained to ensure it does not succumb to the elements.

Composition and Characteristics of Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is an alloy composed primarily of iron and small amounts of other elements, which gives it its unique characteristics.

It is characterized by a low carbon content, making it more malleable than other types of iron.

This malleability and corrosion resistance makes it an ideal material for forging, welding, and other fabrication processes.

Wrought iron also has a high tensile strength, making it an ideal material for construction and structures.

Heat treatment can be used to further increase its strength and durability.

These properties make wrought iron a highly sought-after material for many applications, such as fencing, furniture, and machinery.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of wrought iron involves heat treatment to alter its molecular structure and increase its strength and durability.

The process begins with smelting, where the raw material is heated to temperatures of up to 1,650°C (3,000°F) in order to remove impurities such as sulfur and other contaminants.

The molten metal is then poured into molds and cooled, before being reheated and hammered into shape. This process of reheating and hammering is known as ‘wrought’, and can be done with either a mechanical hammer or a drop hammer.

Finally, the wrought iron is given a final heat treatment to increase its strength and durability.

This process of manufacturing wrought iron results in a strong and durable material that is often used for architectural and ornamental purposes.

Applications of Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a form of iron that is produced by a process of heating and hammering. It is often used in construction due to its malleability and strength.

In terms of construction, wrought iron is used for its structural integrity and aesthetic appeal in projects such as gates, fences, window grills, and railings.

In terms of furniture, wrought iron is used for its durability and weight-bearing capacity, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture such as garden benches and patio sets.

As for artwork, wrought iron is used to create sculptures and other decorative pieces that are often seen in gardens and parks.


Constructing with wrought iron has been a popular choice for many architectural projects, such as the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Wrought iron is a low-carbon material that is durable and easy to manipulate, making it an ideal choice for many structural components.

It is also highly resistant to corrosion, making it a great option for outdoor projects that require long-term durability and protection from the elements.

In addition, wrought iron is an environmentally sustainable material, as it is made from recycled iron ore and can be recycled or reused after use.

As a result, building with wrought iron can offer environmental sustainability and corrosion prevention, making it a great choice for many types of construction projects.


Symbolically, the strength and durability of wrought iron make it an ideal material for furniture construction.

Wrought iron furniture is often seen in outdoor settings, such as in patios and gardens.

This is because wrought iron is highly resistant to corrosion, making it perfectly suited for outdoor use even in harsh weather conditions.

Wrought iron is also extremely strong, making it a great choice for patio seating and garden decorations that will withstand the test of time.

Its malleable nature also makes it easy to shape into a variety of ornate designs.

The timelessness of wrought iron furniture make it a great choice for those looking to add a classic touch to their outdoor settings.


Its resistance to corrosion and strength make it an ideal material for constructing artwork.

Wrought iron is a malleable yet durable material that is perfect for creating ornamental designs and decorative motifs in outdoor art pieces.

It is capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and wind, making it a popular choice for garden sculptures and decorative fences.

Its malleability allows it to be easily shaped and formed into a variety of intricate designs, from simple geometric shapes to detailed patterns and figures.

Wrought iron artwork can also be painted to give it a unique look. This makes it a great choice for homeowners looking to add a personal touch to their outdoor spaces.

In addition, wrought iron artwork is relatively easy to maintain, requiring only occasional repainting and rust-proofing to keep it looking its best.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wrought Iron

Utilizing a unique combination of properties, this material offers a range of advantages and disadvantages in a variety of applications.

Wrought iron is often seen as an eco-friendly material due to its ability to be recycled and reused. Its durability also makes it an ideal choice for outdoor applications, such as fencing and balustrades, as it is resistant to rust and corrosion.

However, its weight and cost can be an issue, as wrought iron is much heavier than other metals, making it more difficult to install. In addition, the cost of wrought iron can be higher compared to other metals.

As such, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of wrought iron when deciding whether it is the right material for a particular application.


Wrought iron has been used for centuries and continues to be a popular choice in many applications due to its strength, its attractive finish, and its relative affordability.

Its ability to be molded and shaped into almost any desired form has made it a highly sought-after material for both ornamental and functional items.

Its durability, resistance to corrosion, and ease of maintenance make it an ideal choice for outdoor use and in areas that require a high degree of protection.

In short, wrought iron has proven itself time and again to be an excellent choice for many applications.

Its many advantages make it an ideal material for both decorative and functional use, and its timeless beauty will likely be appreciated far into the future.

Alluding to its long and rich history, it is safe to say that wrought iron is here to stay.

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