Ingot iron is high quality iron which has been cast in bar form. It contains very few impurities, and it has not been worked; it has simply been melted and cast. This product is available from companies which mine and produce iron, although people usually need to purchase it in very large amounts since these companies focus on handling iron in amounts appropriate for industrial use. Some may, however, have ingot iron in display in public areas because it can be a topic of interest for visitors to their facilities.
An ingot is simply a bar of purified metal. People have been using ingots for thousands of years during metal processing. The ingot is easy to handle and transport, making it convenient for mines because they can prepare metal for packing and shipping ingot form. The size and shape of an ingot varies, depending on the conventions for that particular metal, but they usually take the form of rectangular bars which are small enough to be easy to handle, but not so small that they are impractical.
The ingot may have a slightly tapered shape, which is designed to facilitate even cooling. An iron ingot is also commonly stamped with a marking which indicates which company produced it, and possibly where. This mark may take the form of a company logo, or a stamped word or series of words. Ingot iron is often made with pig iron, a minimally refined form of iron which cannot be used on its own, but can be processed to make various iron products.
Iron ingots may also be stamped with information about their purity, which is designed to assist people using the bars in metals processing. Knowing which impurities are present can allow people to decide how they want to handle ingot iron; various components can be added to create a steel alloy, which may perform differently depending on which impurities are present and how the metal is processed.
On its own, iron is a very soft, highly malleable metal. Ingots are usually cast with some impurities so that they are reasonably hard, as otherwise they can be damaged during shipping. The percentage of other materials does not have to be very high to create a durable, strong metal alloy which can be used in a wide variety of settings. Some interesting antique examples of ingot iron can be seen on display in some museums, as examples of metalworking from earlier eras in human history.