All About Iron Steel Foundations
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. By mass, it is the most common element on earth. Iron has a material density of 0.2844 pounds/in3 (0.874 g/cm3) and a melting point of 2,800°F (1,530°C).
Iron for the ironmaking process is mined from the ground as iron ore, which is a mineral that is rich in iron oxides. There are several types and qualities of iron ore, depending on their chemical makeup, but the ironmaking process uses 98% of all the iron ore that is mined in the world.
Magnetite (Fe3O4) and hematite (Fe2O3) are types of iron ore that are considered blast furnace grade ores. However, even these types of iron ore require additional refinement prior to being used in the ironmaking process.
The iron ore must undergo grinding, screening, and a separation process (either magnetic or flotation) to separate the iron-containing material from impurities. Following the separation process, the material is pelletized into iron ore pellets capable of being transported and put into a blast furnace.