Iron and steel are two of the most common materials used in industries like construction and manufacturing. Even though these two materials look similar, each have characteristics and qualities that make them unique. The primary difference is the fact that iron is an element as steel is an alloy made up of mostly iron and carbon.
Another difference between iron and steel is the percentage of carbon contained in each material. Iron that contains more than two percent of carbon is known as pig iron whereas iron that contains less than two percent of carbon is referred to as steel. You can process the pig iron through various furnaces and processes in order to produce steel.
Further, you can add various other metals to steel in order to produce steel alloys. Steel alloys offer a variety of properties suited for a wide range of products and industries. For example, when chromium is added to steel, it results in a material called stainless steel. Stainless steel offers high resistance to corrosion and maintains a high strength-to-weight ratio. Steel is used on a large scale in industries like manufacturing and construction because steel is stronger than iron and it also has better tension and compression properties.