iron The chemical element Iron is a metal with atomic number 26 and atomic weight 55.847. It has a melting temperature 1535 ° C and the boiling temperature 2750 ° C. Its chemical symbol is Fe. Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen (O), silicon (Si) and aluminum (Al) 1. Also, the metal is the most widely used, mainly in the form of two major alloys, steel (Steel from the Latin acciaio) and cast iron. Iron has been discovered from prehistory, namely the Iron Age. Pure iron is a metal, but is rarely found in this form in the earth’s surface, because it is easily oxidized in the presence of oxygen and moisture in the atmosphere. In order to recover metallic iron, oxygen must be removed from natural minerals – particularly from hematite (iron ore formula Fe2O3) at high temperatures. The properties of iron can be modified by mixing with a variety of other metals (and some nonmetals, notably carbon and silicon) to form steel.