Definition - What does Pig Iron mean?
Pig iron is an intermediary product when iron ore is smelted with a fuel with high carbon, such as coke. This is usually done with limestone to act as the flux. Anthracite as well as charcoal can be utilized as fuel as well.
It has a fairly high carbon content combined with silica and dross constituents, making it very brittle. Pig iron should not be directly utilized as a material with the exception of some limited applications.
Corrosionpedia explains Pig Iron
The common mold shape that is used for ingots was with a branching structure formed within sand. This configuration is similar to the look of a litter of piglets suckling on a sow. Once the metal has hardened and cooled, the little ingots or "pigs" are broken into a thinner runner, hence the name "pig iron."
As pig iron undergoes remelting, there can be uneven ingot sizes and the inclusion of sand from the mold, causing slight problems in terms of handling and casting. Most pig iron is manufactured and used in steel mill compounds. Pig iron is melted in blast furnaces and transferred straight to steel plants in its liquid state.
This product is highly beneficial in the metal and steel casting industries, especially when sold as ferrous feedstock. It has many uses, such as in steel making, specifically in electric arcs. It can also be the main product in the production of cupola furnaces, gray iron castings and other similar products.