Wrought iron gates and fences have a classic look that can make any home more attractive. But what is wrought iron, exactly? If you are considering buying wrought iron fences and wrought iron gates, Phoenix experts can give you the facts you need to know.
What is wrought iron made of? True wrought iron is an iron alloy that has a low carbon content. Today, virtually all commercially available “wrought iron” in the United States is actually mild steel, which as a higher carbon content than true wrought iron. You will also find “wrought iron” accessories, such as candle holders and shelves, which are actually made of cast iron – a more brittle material with an even higher carbon content.
How long have people been using wrought iron? Wrought iron has been used by people for thousands of years. Ancient Romans, for example, had wrought iron furniture, and the metal can be seen in many churches and buildings in Europe, as well as in historic areas in cities like New Orleans.
How can I tell if my fence or gate is true wrought iron? If your fence or gate was made after the late 1960’s, chances are that it is actually mild steel. That’s when traditional methods of making wrought iron were eclipsed by a more economical process for making steel. Appearance is another way to judge the age and type of wrought iron. Traditional wrought iron will develop an attractive brown or copper-colored finish as it ages because of the specific chemical properties of the metal. Modern wrought iron, in contrast, can develop less attractive spots of rust.
How is wrought iron made? Historically, wrought iron was hand-forged by blacksmiths. The process, which involved heating the metal and then hammering or twisting it into a specific shape, was very labor-intensive, which was one reason it fell out of favor. Today, wrought iron is more likely to involve different pieces of metal that are worked cold and then welded together.
Can I get real wrought iron gates today? Traditional wrought iron is hard to come by today. That is because the foundries that once produced wrought iron have almost all disappeared, leaving blacksmiths with a very limited supply of metal to work with. Much of that metal goes toward repairing old wrought iron gates and fences. But it’s the classic look of wrought iron that most people want. For people looking for wrought iron gates, commercially available wrought iron should be a perfectly acceptable substitute. If you want to look at some examples of our wrought iron products, go to our website at http://www.alliedgate.com.
Please call us at 480-516-0275 or visit http://www.alliedgate.com if you have any questions or concerns.