We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Ingot Iron?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

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.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All The Science researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By TreeMan — On Jul 22, 2011

Does anyone know what a billet is? It seems like I have heard this term used to refer to processed and refined metal ores. How does an ingot differ from a billet, or are they the same thing? Is one term more common for a certain type of metal than another?

By stl156 — On Jul 22, 2011

@Izzy78 - As far as I know, ingot is a general term that can be used to describe any type of refined metal that is in bar form. I have heard it used for everything from iron to copper to aluminum, but I'm not sure about things beside metals. I would be interested to know if anyone has heard of other materials being referred to as ingots.

As for the second part of your question, wiseGEEK has a good article on refining iron ore that I would suggest. Basically, the ore is initially combined with several minerals. To make pig iron for ingots, the iron ore is combined with carbon and limestone which each bond to certain impurities that can then be removed from the iron.

By Izzy78 — On Jul 21, 2011

Is ingot a term that is specific to iron, or can other metals and materials that are formed into bars be considered ingots, as well? For example, could you have a copper or gold ingot? What about for other materials that are not metal, like plastics (even though I think plastics are usually made into beads before final use).

I don't have any experience with mining or metal manufacturing, but what types of impurities are usually found in iron after it is mined? What is done to remove the impurities from the iron before it is cast into ingot form, and what happens to the waste material?

By JimmyT — On Jul 20, 2011

@titans62 - Not an odd question at all. I know what you mean about some words like this being pronounced differently. The end of the word is actually pronounced more like "gut". Since I like finding word origins, I looked up ingot, and found that it comes from Middle English, so there are no tricky silent letters.

My question about the article was whether there was a way to take something like iron scrap metal and reform it into ingots for other use. Is this possible, or is the strength and composition of the metal changed too much during manufacturing to be used again? I guess another question is what even happens to iron or steel once it is taken to a scrap yard?

By titans62 — On Jul 20, 2011

This may be an odd question, but how is this word pronounced? Is the "t" hard or soft (is the end of the word pronounced like got or go?) I have seen words like ingot pronounced different ways depending on the etymology. I was just curious.

By jcraig — On Jul 19, 2011

I had no idea what was behind making iron ready for transport and usage. I guess I never really thought about how it got from a mine to a factory that made iron or steel products.

Does the melting and casting process usually happen near the iron mine, or is the iron ore transported to a factory somewhere that then produces the ingot and then ships it again to other places?

The article says the ingot bars and small enough to handle. Does that mean for humans or for machines? What dimensions do the bars usually have, and how much do they weigh? Is an ingot bar something you would ever be able to find and buy just to have it?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.