One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Crude iron as first obtained from a smelting furnace, in the form of oblong blocks.Compare with pig (sense 4 of the noun)
- ‘Energy-intensive blast furnaces, convert iron ore to pig iron, while coal is converted to coke.’
- ‘The remaining methods for making steel do so by removing impurities from pig iron or a mixture of pig iron and steel scrap.’
- ‘In the 1780s, Henry Cort developed the puddling furnace, which allowed pig iron to be refined in turn with coke.’
- ‘Steel manufactured in electric arc furnaces from scrap uses far less energy than traditional openhearth furnaces using pig iron.’
- ‘In the next two years when profits remained low, cargoes consisted mainly of iron ore, pig iron and some shipments of coal.’
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