Distinguishing Between Wrought Iron and Mild Steel

When you walk past an old building with a wrought iron gate, do you stop to admire the intrinsic qualities of the metalwork and design? Well, if the building is less than 100 years old, you could actually be admiring mild steel. But that is okay! Mild steel is an excellent alloy that is equivalent in application and performance.

In the metal collection and recycling enterprise, whether private or commercial, it is important to know your materials, especially iron and steel since they are the two most repurposed metal alloys in the world. They retain a dependable economic value and can reap both pecuniary and mechanical applications on a long-term scale.

In fact, let’s start by learning to distinguish wrought iron from mild steel.

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Wrought Iron Basics

Wrought iron is a crude alloy that is defined by its carbon content. Specifically, wrought iron is any iron that retains less than 0.8% carbon content. When the carbon content reaches 2.1%, it is cast iron. If it reaches beyond 4% carbon content, no longer cast iron, but something else. The top benefits of wrought iron include its toughness, malleability, ductility, corrosion-resistance, and ease of welding.

However, because of the slag that develops within the alloy during the smelting process, it is below the modern standards for iron. As a result of the fibrous slag inclusions, usually up to 2%, wrought iron gets its unique wood-like grain finish, which is highly south out for artistic value. This slag content helps protect against pitting and oxidizing, which is why wrought iron is still around.

Coupled with its flexibility and ease of forging, it is no surprise wrought iron was used to construct so many gates and similar ornamental structures. It was also commonly used to make weaponry and tools since the ancient times because it was more available than copper and tin, which was used to make bronze.

Mild Steel

Upon Englishman Henry Cort’s invention of the puddling process in 1784, widespread large-scale manufacturing of wrought iron was finally possible. By the mid-1800’s, wrought iron was being used to develop structural beams and more. But once the Bessemer process was introduced to society, steel quickly replaced it in virtually all industrial applications.

Steel was cheaper and more durable, making it an easy choice to replace wrought iron. In fact, today, the term, “wrought iron” is a misnomer usually used to describe ornamental structures. There really isn’t any new manufacturing of wrought iron, and only old versions still exist.

✨ Anything you see today that resembles wrought iron is usually mild steel, unless it is more than 100 years old, in which case, it could be genuine wrought iron.

Mild steel, also known as plain-carbon steel and low-carbon steel, is iron with a particular amount of carbon content, usually between 0.05 – 0.30 percent. It has various properties that make it a dependable alloy, such as low cost, high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, ductility, and more.

How to Get Started Recycling Metal for Cash

Call Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to sell scrap metal for cash in Central and Southern Indiana. Our Indianapolis scrap metal buyers pay cash on the spot for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including cars, car parts, appliances, construction equipment, farming equipment, and more. We divert hundreds of pounds of metal waste each year, which helps to reduce landfills and support the initiative to maintain a healthy balance of trade and resource sustainability in the United States. Our commitment to this meaningful enterprise is just as strong as our commitment to providing outstanding service for our clientele. Be a part of this initiative by selling us your scrap iron, steel, and more!

Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322
Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322

Tips for Stripping Copper Wire for Scrap Metal

Copper is very popular and always in high demand in the scrap metal industry. Because of its various beneficial innate properties, copper is an incredibly useful, and therefore valuable, metal in our society. For these reasons, you can easily make some extra cash by scrapping copper materials at local metal and iron recycling center. Copper wire is one of the more prevalent versions of scrap copper out there, and easy to come by. Just be sure you know how to strip copper wiring safely, and in a way that retains its scrap value.

Continue reading to learn some different methods for stripping down copper wire, including how to determine which method is best for your metal scrapping endeavors.

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Indianapolis Scrap Wire Buyers 1-888-586-5322

Assessing Your Wire Stripping Needs

To start, you will need a type of tool for stripping wire. Most people simply use wire strippers, however, these tools come in a wide range of sizes and prices. You can get a cheap one that works just fine, or a heavy duty one as much as $500 or more. So, before you go out and purchase a new wire stripping tool, first determine how much copper wire you plan on stripping, now and in the future. This will tell you which type of tool will meet your scrapping needs best.

100 Pounds or Less Per Month = Pliers or Handheld Stripper

More Than 100 Pounds Per Month = A Tabletop Wire Stripper

1000 Pounds or More Per Month = Electric Wire Strippers

All of these tools can be found at your local home improvement or hardware store. Prices vary depending on retailer, brand, make, model, and more. Talk to a sales representative for a brief description on the best practices for using the tool you choose for your metal scrapping projects.

Tips You Can Use When Stripping

When hand-stripping, many people might recommend applying heat to the wiring to make the insulation more pliable, and therefore, easier to remove. However, take note that you should NEVER BURN copper wiring to make removal easier. This will only serve to injure you and damage the integrity of the ore.

Instead, use the natural sun to soften the outer insulation. Simply place your copper wiring outdoors in the sunshine, and leave it there during the warmest and sunniest parts of the day. Before the sun sets, collect your wiring and begin your hand stripping while they are at their most pliable.

If you are dealing with bulk copper wiring, and choose to procure a tabletop stripping machine, be sure you read through the manual and learn how to use it before getting started. Without the proper mechanical knowledge, you can potentially injure or maim yourself. You can find further tutorials on using such machines, online.

How to Recycle Scrap Electrical Wiring in Indiana

Call Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to sell scrap copper for cash in Central and Southern Indiana. Our Indianapolis metal recycling professionals pay cash on the spot for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including junk cars, automotive parts, appliances, construction equipment, motorized farming equipment, and more. Request a free estimate for your scrap metal, today.

Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322
Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322