Steel vs Iron: Understanding the Differences in CNC Machining(brass and bronze Nancy)

  • Time:
  • Click:95
  • source:FINKEL CNC Machining


CNC machining has revolutionized the manufacturing industry, providing precise and efficient production processes that have propelled numerous sectors forward. In this article, we will explore the differences between steel and iron in relation to CNC machining. Both materials are widely used, but understanding their unique properties is crucial when it comes to producing high-quality products.

Steel and Iron: What Sets Them Apart?

1. Composition:
Steel is an alloy composed primarily of iron with varying amounts of carbon and other elements such as manganese, chromium, nickel, or vanadium added for specific properties. This composition gives steel its renowned strength and durability.
Iron, on the other hand, is a pure metal element found abundantly in the earth's crust. It possesses good mechanical properties but lacks the strength and resistance found in steel due to its purity.

2. Strength and Durability:
In terms of strength, steel has a significant advantage over iron. Its alloyed nature allows for greater hardness, toughness, and overall mechanical performance. Steel can withstand higher loads, stress, and impact without bending or deforming easily compared to iron.

3. Machinability:
When it comes to CNC machining, both steel and iron can be processed into complex shapes with precision. However, due to its higher carbon content and alloying elements, steel often requires different tooling strategies and techniques than iron. The machinability of a material plays a crucial role in determining its suitability for particular applications.

4. Corrosion Resistance:
One major distinction between steel and iron lies in their corrosion resistance. Steel, especially stainless steel, contains additional elements like chromium, which form a protective layer preventing rust and corrosion. On the contrary, untreated iron is highly susceptible to oxidation and requires surface treatments such as galvanization or painting to enhance its corrosion resistance.

Applications and Product Development:

1. Automotive Industry:
Steel's exceptional strength and durability make it an ideal choice for manufacturing automotive components, including engine parts, transmissions, chassis, and suspension systems. CNC machining enables precise fabrication of intricate shapes required in automotive applications.

2. Aerospace Industry:
In aerospace engineering, steel finds extensive application due to its high load-bearing capabilities and resistance to temperature extremes. Parts like turbine blades, landing gears, brackets, and structural components rely on the superior mechanical properties of steel.

1. Cast Iron Products:
CNC machining allows for precision production of various cast iron products ranging from engine blocks, pump bodies, valves, and manhole covers. The low melting point and excellent fluidity of liquid iron make it suitable for casting complex structures.

2. Architectural Components:
Iron's classic appearance makes it a popular choice for ornamental applications such as railings, gates, fences, and decorative fixtures. CNC machining ensures consistent quality and intricate designs while retaining the traditional feel associated with ironwork.


Steel and iron are both essential materials in the world of CNC machining, each distinguished by their unique characteristics. While steel excels in terms of strength, durability, and corrosion resistance, iron finds its place in casting industries and architectural applications. Understanding the differences between these two metals empowers manufacturers to select the most suitable material for their specific requirements. With continued advancements in CNC technology, businesses can leverage these materials' potential and deliver innovative products across numerous industries. CNC Milling