Wrought Iron BedsHow They Are Made

By: Ben Weissman

When you purchase wrought iron beds, you probably think little about the work that goes into their construction. Interestingly, wrought iron is actually quite malleable, despite its hard appearance and toughness, and it can easily be welded, which is why you can find a wrought iron headboard so commonly. How is wrought iron made, and into what sorts of beds is it incorporated?

Wrought iron is a relatively pure iron metal, with about 1/10 of 1% of carbon and other impurities, but manufacturing it from pig iron is tedious and involves several phases: refining, puddling, shingling, and rolling. Refining involves the melting and oxidizing of the metal, followed by a sudden cooling to make it brittle – this is refined iron. It is then converted into wrought iron by stirring it in a molten state in a reverberatory furnace, in which it does not come into contact with the fuel. During this process, most of the carbon and other impurities are oxidized, and slag that is formed is removed.

Shingling is the removal of additional slag, usually by passing the now white spongy balls of iron through a squeezing machine. This helps to bind and weld the particles of what are known as puddle balls, and the end result is known as "bloom", which is still red hot. Rolling is the process of passing the bloom through grooved rollers that produce flat bars, called muck bars, which are then often heated and rolled again to get the desired quality.

After all that, the material can be softened in white heat and easily formed into the shape desired, thus creating the popularity of it in modern beds and contemporary bedroom furniture. You'll find contemporary beds containing wrought iron in the design in a number of styles, such as an iron sleigh bed or a wrought iron daybed. In fact, wrought iron is quite popular in kids' bedroom furniture, especially an iron canopy bed. Wrought iron, despite its tedious production process, is relatively inexpensive and quite refined and attractive, with a simplistic look that can easily be employed into an iron bed headboard for contemporary beds.

When you look at iron bed furniture, make sure you are purchasing true refined wrought iron, since anything else can rust easily due to its higher impurity content. Less pure material may also be weaker or flaky, causing piece of the metal to flake off over time. You may choose to get a completely metal bed, or you may opt for a wrought iron and wood bed; if you purchase the latter, make sure that the wood and wrought iron are firmly attached and that the wood is high quality and sturdy, making it as long-lasting as the wrought iron will be.

Wrought iron is a sleek material that gives a nice, simple decorative style in contemporary-casual fashion, with a minimalistic quality that seems both functional and fantastic. With the intense creation process, it's a wonder that it doesn't cost more to the consumer!

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