A naturally available element, iron was melted down into a silvery/white metal in 2400 BC for the first time. Cast iron is hard and fragile, whereas wrought iron is soft and workable. Iron obtained from a blast furnace (pig iron) is an iron and carbon (approximately 4%) alloy containing trace amounts of silicium, manganese, phosphor, sulphur and other elements. Iron is more versatile than steel, which is an iron alloy. Steel is produced in basic oxygen furnaces and contains less carbon. Other elements, specifically manganese, is adjusted or added to obtain specific characteristics. Today, there are thousands of quality grades in steel. Even high-carbon steel does not contain carbon at more than 1.5% in current times, but this ratio may go up to 2.5% in certain high-alloy steel types.Carbon enables the steel to harden through heat treatment.