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Iron is a nonprecious metal that blacksmiths and other metalworkers use to craft a variety of projects. It is a ductile, soft metal that can be manipulated when it is melted. Its melting point is about 2,802 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,539 degrees Celsius. It is a little lower than the melting points of other precious metals like gold or silver.
Scientists can determine the melting point of a sample using the capillary method. They pack a finely ground sample into a thin-walled capillary tube and place it in a heated stand that is close to a high-accuracy thermometer. They increase the temperature of the heated stand at a fixed rate until the material inside reaches a liquid state. They then record the temperature of the melt.
In addition to the melting point, researchers look at a number of other physical characteristics of the sample during its melt. They may look at its enthalpy of fusion, its specific heat capacity, or the rheological properties of its viscosity and volume. They can also take a look at its optical properties, such as birefringence reflection and light transmission.
If a mineral has an extremely low melting point, it is unlikely to survive in Earth-core conditions. It would melt before it could build up enough pressure to form a solid crystal structure within the core-inner shell boundary. Moreover, it might not be possible to create stable alloys of iron with other elements, since their atomic bonds might break at high temperatures.