Steel vs Iron - Unraveling the Industrial Machining Marvels(what is a non ferrous metal Spring)

  • Time:
  • Click:6
  • source:GAENOR CNC Machining


In the vast world of manufacturing and machining, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technology has brought about a revolution. This innovative technique involves automated precision cutting, drilling, and shaping of diverse materials, including steel and iron. In this article, we delve into the nuances of CNC machining, exploring its applications, benefits, and the key differences between steel and iron in such processes.

Understanding CNC Machining:

CNC machining is a state-of-the-art method utilized in the production of various components across diverse industries. The process involves using computer-controlled machinery to accurately cut, shape, and produce intricate objects from different materials. It enables manufacturers to achieve high levels of accuracy and repeatability, resulting in superior-quality end products.

Production Process of Steel and Iron Components:

To comprehend the journey of producing steel and iron components through CNC machining, it's essential to understand the raw materials used and subsequent steps involved.

Steel Production:
1. Extraction: The extraction of iron ore occurs in mines where it undergoes processing to obtain iron.
2. Smelting: When heated with coke (carbon), iron ore transforms into molten iron in a furnace during the smelting process.
3. Refining: Molten iron is then refined by removing impurities like carbon, sulfur, silicon, and excess oxygen.
4. Alloying and Casting: Different alloys are added to enhance specific properties before casting the molten iron into desired shapes using molds or continuous casting processes.
5. Mechanical Processing: Once cast, further mechanical processing includes cutting, grinding, and smoothing to ensure the component meets required specifications.
6. CNC Machining: Finally, CNC machines mill, drill, turn, and carve the steel components precisely according to design specifications, resulting in the desired final product.

Iron Production:
The production process for iron broadly follows the same steps as steel up until alloying and casting. However, instead of adding alloys, the primary focus is on creating different grades of iron based on carbon content (cast iron, pig iron, etc.). Once cast, CNC machining techniques are then employed to produce finely-tuned iron components.

Steel vs. Iron in CNC Machining:

1. Strength: Steel exhibits greater strength compared to iron; hence it finds applications where high structural integrity is required.
2. Machinability: Due to its carbon content and uniformly distributed constituents, steel offers better machinability than iron. It allows for finer detailing and higher precision during CNC machining processes.
3. Corrosion Resistance: Stainless steel, a popular variant, possesses excellent resistance to corrosion due to chromium and other alloying elements. Iron, however, is prone to rusting unless treated or coated.
4. Heat Resistance: Steel endures higher temperatures better than iron, making it suitable for high-temperature applications such as manufacturing machinery parts that encounter intense heat.
5. Ease of Welding: In welding applications, steel surpasses iron due to its ability to be easily welded without sacrificing strength.
6. Weight: Iron components tend to be heavier compared to their steel counterparts, which can influence design considerations.

Applications of CNC Machined Steel and Iron Components:

CNC machined steel and iron components find extensive use across multiple industries:
1. Automotive: Precision-engineered engine components, transmission fittings, and chassis parts.
2. Aerospace: Structural brackets, landing gear, and turbine blades.
3. Construction: Architectural metalwork, reinforcement structures, and specialized fasteners.
4. Oil and Gas: High-pressure valves, connectors, and drilling equipment.
5. Medical Industry: Surgical instruments, implants, and prosthetics.
6. Electronics: Enclosures, connectors, and intricate circuit boards.
7. Defense: Armored vehicle parts, weapon systems, and military hardware.


The evolution of CNC machining has significantly contributed to the production processes of steel and iron components, revolutionizing multiple industries. Understanding the differences between the two materials allows manufacturers to make informed choices based on their specific requirements. Steel's strength, machinability, and corrosion resistance grant it an edge over iron in many applications. However, both materials have unique properties that play pivotal roles in designing reliable, efficient, and durable CNC machined products. CNC Milling CNC Machining