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Tough, hard, durable ferrous metal. Steel is made from pig iron in a furnace. This pig iron contains up to 4% carbon. This content has to be reduced to something in the region of 1.5%.

Note: Because steel is ferrous, it can be magnetised. It is difficult to magnetise, but once it is, it tends to retain that magnetism. This makes it suitable for use in permanent magnets.

This makes it useful in components like permanent magnet motors and flywheel magneto ignition systems.

However, this same property makes it unsuitable for use in components like solenoids and relays. For these components, we need to be quickly able to magnetise the metal, and then, once we stop magnetising it, we need it to quickly loose the magnetism. This is why Iron is used in non-permanent magnets.

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