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What are the properties of iron?

A:

Quick Answer

Some of the properties of iron are that it is malleable, which means it can be hammered into thin sheets, and ductile, which means it can be pulled into lengths of wire without snapping. It is also unusual in that it can be magnetized.

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Full Answer

Iron atoms also bond with the atoms of non-metals such as oxygen and carbon and can be easily alloyed with other metals such as chrome, tungsten, titanium, nickel and vanadium. Adding even a small amount of carbon turns iron into steel, which is stronger than iron and has a wealth of uses.

Iron can also be polished to considerable brilliance and can be easily welded. However, pure iron rusts quickly — especially if it's exposed to damp and heat.

Iron is also essential for animal and plant life. Hemoglobin is made of an iron ion surrounded by other elements and compounds. The iron ion bonds to oxygen and carries it to the cells of the body and carries carbon dioxide away from the cells. Iron is stored in the liver, spleen, kidney and other organs, for these organs are where red blood cells are destroyed. When they are destroyed, they give up their iron. Iron is also necessary for photosynthesis because it helps to form chlorophyll.

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