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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Iron

The main distinction in construction metals is between ferrous (iron) and non-ferrous types. Iron is of such importance because it is the fourth most common element on Earth. It is strong (in compression and tension), and when heated can be formed and shaped; its melting point is 2,800ºF. However, it does not have a high fire resistance and is the heaviest of the common construction materials: three times the weight of concrete and six times the weight of lumber. It conducts heat (and electricity) rather well, which is worth remembering when designing metal structures for climbing plants in hot climates as hot metal can burn them.

Iron is found naturally as an oxide of iron; to make it into pure iron, the ore is smelted by heating with charcoal ...

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