The Difference Between Steel and Iron in CNC Machining(parting line injection molding Solomon)

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In the world of manufacturing and engineering, CNC machining plays a crucial role. Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining is an advanced manufacturing technique that utilizes automated computer programs to control machinery and tools, resulting in precise and efficient production processes. When it comes to CNC machining, materials such as steel and iron are commonly used. While both may seem similar at first glance, they have distinct properties and characteristics that make them suitable for different applications. In this article, we will explore the differences between steel and iron and their significance in CNC machining.

Steel – A Versatile Material:

Steel is an alloy composed primarily of iron alongside other elements like carbon, manganese, and nickel. Its versatility makes it one of the most widely used materials in various industries. In the context of CNC machining, steel offers several advantages over iron. One notable benefit is its strength and durability. Steel possesses higher tensile strength than iron, making it more resistant to wear and tear. This property ensures longer lifespan when subjected to heavy loads or external forces, which is particularly advantageous in high-stress applications.

Moreover, steel exhibits exceptional machinability due to its homogeneous structure. CNC machines can easily shape and form steel into complex designs with tight tolerances, ensuring precise outcomes. Additionally, steel's malleability allows manufacturers to create intricate parts without compromising structural integrity. Whether it is producing gears, brackets, or shafts, steel proves to be an excellent choice for CNC machining due to these desirable qualities.

Iron – An Essential Component:

While not as ubiquitous as steel, iron remains a fundamental material utilized in many industries. Iron is distinguished by its abundance in nature and its affordability. In terms of CNC machining, however, iron presents some challenges compared to steel. One critical factor is its lower hardness level. Iron tends to be softer than steel, making it less suited for applications requiring enhanced durability.

Nonetheless, iron's magnetic properties make it vital in certain applications. In various electrical devices and equipment, iron serves as a core material due to its ability to generate and conduct magnetism efficiently. CNC machining of iron parts is instrumental in creating components for transformers, motors, and generators. Thus, despite its limitations in terms of hardness, iron plays an irreplaceable role in CNC machining within the electrical industry.

Choosing the Right Material:

When determining whether to use steel or iron for CNC machining projects, selecting the suitable material is crucial. It primarily depends on the specific requirements and desired outcomes of the product being manufactured. As discussed earlier, steel's strength, durability, and machinability provide a solid foundation for diverse applications. The ability to withstand heavy loads and resist wear makes it ideal for producing parts subjected to challenging conditions.

On the other hand, for applications requiring precise magnetism or cost-effective production, iron shines. Its affordability and magnetic properties make it a suitable choice for industries like electronics and power generation. By carefully assessing the project specifications, manufacturers can optimize their CNC machining processes by selecting the appropriate material – whether that be steel or iron.


In the realm of CNC machining, understanding the differences between steel and iron is essential in ensuring optimal manufacturing results. While both materials have distinct characteristics, they each offer unique advantages when applied appropriately. Steel's strength, durability, and versatility provide a strong foundation for numerous applications. On the other hand, iron's magnetic properties enable its usage in electrical and power generation contexts, despite its lower hardness level. By evaluating project-specific requirements, manufacturers can confidently select the most suitable material for their CNC machining endeavors. CNC Milling CNC Machining