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Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use only began after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the production of blister steel and then crucible steel.
Iron is extracted from iron ore by removing the oxygen through its combination with a preferred chemical partner such as carbon which is then lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
In the body-centred cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the centre of each cube, and in the face-centred cubic, there is one at the center of each of the six faces of the cube.
It is the interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements, primarily carbon, that gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties.
This was followed by the Siemens-Martin process and then the Gilchrist-Thomas process that refined the quality of steel.
With their introductions, mild steel replaced wrought iron.