Iron is an extremely valuable and versatile material but, it is not used in its raw form. This is because raw iron is prone to oxidation and other forms of degradation which means that it is not very durable specially when it is placed in the outdoor. This is because water in the atmosphere and moisture can easily interact with the iron and oxidized it into iron oxide which is extremely flaky and does not have the strength that is in the iron itself. This means that once oxidised, iron will lose its strength and, it is no longer suitable for load bearing applications. Unlike aluminium where the oxidation layer is non porous and actually helps to protect the aluminium from further oxidation, this is not the case with iron. Iron oxide which is the by-product of the oxidation of iron is extremely porous and does not prevent further oxidation of the iron. This means that over time, oxidation can take place and soon enough, the entire piece of iron will be converted to iron oxide which is essentially rust. This is why it is necessary to make sure that the iron is processed into steel or other forms of steel which means that it will be much more durable to oxidation and coma the strength characteristics of the iron will increase as well.
The most basic form of iron is cast iron which has a large amount of carbon molecules imbedded into it. This means that it has a large amount of compressive strength but it is extremely brittle. Although the material is extremely hard, it cannot sustain large amounts of tension which means that it will break under bending and the failure of the material will also be sudden because the nature of the material is brittle. This main sound confusing as it is not immediately apparent that tension is produced in a material under bending but as the material bands one side of the material is extended while the other side is compressed. This means that the side that is extended is in tension while the side that is being compressed is under compression. Cast iron is good for compression but, it is extremely poor under tension. This means that when used under bending cast iron is likely to fail on the side that is being extended. Since, it is a brittle material the failure of cast iron will be extremely sudden.
Effect of Materials on the Structural Integrity
This can have implications on the structural integrity of the structures that are built in the modern environment. At Palmer steel industries, we recognise the importance of carefully maintaining the composition of different steel varieties so that they can perform to the optimal level when used to bear different kinds of load. We have a wide variety of different steel components to choose from such as steel columns and steel beams. If you choose to buy steel components from US you can rest assured that these steel components will be manufactured with the strictest of quality control and, will have the necessary composition that you require.
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