Understanding the Melting Temperature of Iron

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Iron is the tenth most abundant element on Earth and it’s a key component in our bodies, making up hemoglobin and other blood proteins. It is also a common ingredient in steel, which is used to make vehicles, buildings, electrical apparatuses and machinery. To be manipulated into the shapes that are needed for different applications, metals must first be melted. Depending on the temperature at which this occurs, the material may become unstable and start to fail.

To prevent this from happening, the melting temperature of metals must be understood so that manufacturers can choose the correct materials for their applications. Metals have different melting temperatures, ranging from gold at 938 degrees Fahrenheit to lead at 621 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the melting point of a metal, the more stable it is.

The melting temperature of a metal can be determined by studying its physical properties and the way it interacts with other elements. A metal’s melting point is the temperature at which the atomic vibrations of its particles are disruptive enough to overcome the attractive forces that keep them in a tightly packed state.

When an iron object is heated to this temperature, it begins to melt and turn into a liquid. This happens because of its quirkiness. Iron is odd because it reaches its melting point without absorbing any energy. This is due to the fact that it has a peculiar interaction with magnetic energy. Iron has twenty-six protons in its nucleus, and adding one extra proton will create the element cobalt. Taking away one proton will result in the element manganese.

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