Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How do you seperate iron from clay?

  1. Mar 2, 2015 #1
    I'm assuming the reason raw clay is red is because of the iron content, how do you separate it. also is that why bricks are red? and is porcelain just pure clay? one more thing do smelters of iron (how?) also produce steel at their factorys, and if so is that steel also sold as ingots for further processing. one more thing I'm assuming the way you purify steel is thru magnetic induction. can someone show me an example of a machine that makes steel wire tia.

    fyi I was watching cnbc and suddenly became interested in the manufacture of guitar string! :woot:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2015 #2
  4. Mar 2, 2015 #3
    thanks greg, that answers my question about separating clay from iron, it's a combination of fractionation and electrophoresis which I'm a little familiar with after watching the discovery channel on the refinement of copper 99.99% pure for wire for electronics.

    if someone else would like to take a shot at my other questions feel free. :smile:
  5. Mar 2, 2015 #4
    Indeed. The paper I linked to is from 1969 so I imagine the process has been refined since then.
  6. Mar 6, 2015 #5
    There's a lot of videos of it on youtube, but most wires are made by cold drawing in one form or another. Basically take some metal that's, say, 0.250" in diameter, pull it through a hole that's 0.245" in diameter. Rinse and repeat until you get to the thickness you want (with possible annealing steps to take out cold working damage). There's a lot more to it than I said industrially, but it's the basic idea.

    There's a video of someone doing silver. You just keep on going through the smaller and smaller holes until you hit your desired diameter.

    Edit: This is actually a pretty good video for a non-automated process.

  7. Mar 18, 2015 #6
    Red bricks have an iron (II) oxide added. Same reason why you can get brown and yellow etc. Different metal oxide combinations, if you look in the old books on building and painting (I have one from 1951) they tell you what pigments give you what colours, and back then you bought iron (II) oxide and not "brick red" or whatever. You can get synthetic pigments too.

    Steel-making iron can be produced in a smelter, but so can other grades of iron. Iron ore can come with different impurities, some good for steel (V, Ti) and some bad (Mg, Na), and what these impurities are will dictate what the iron ore's used for. At my job we process iron for steel making and sell it to be fired in a smelter at a grade to be used for steel frames. We don't have the capacity, money or materials to make it straight to steel. Plus, some use the ore as smelter fuel.

    Probably should add, iron ores come in different deposit 'styles.' Most are iron (II) oxides, but iron (III) oxides, iron carbonates and other compounds do occur. Most iron ores in Australia are 'banded iron formations' where iron(II) and (III) are layered in sedimentary rocks, and these are large scale. Smaller deposits are in volcanic rocks, and metamorphosed volcanic assemblages called 'skarns.' So what the smelter does depends on the ore which depends on deposit style, and how ore is extracted depends on this too. I could go on and on if you want about different iron deposits...
  8. Mar 19, 2015 #7
    thanks, I can research further if need be.
  9. Mar 20, 2015 #8
    No worries thankz...let me know if you have any more questions.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook