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It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust.
The mechanical properties of iron and its alloys can be evaluated using a variety of tests, including the Brinell test, Rockwell test and the Vickers hardness test.
orbitals, which do not point directly at the nearest neighbors in the body-centered cubic lattice and therefore do not participate in metallic bonding; thus, they can interact magnetically with each other so that their spins align.
At pressures above approximately 10 GPa and temperatures of a few hundred kelvin or less, α-iron changes into a hexagonal close-packed (hcp) structure, which is also known as ε-iron; the higher-temperature γ-phase also changes into ε-iron, but does so at higher pressure.
The data on iron is so consistent that it is often used to calibrate measurements or to compare tests.
Because of its significance for planetary cores, the physical properties of iron at high pressures and temperatures have also been studied extensively.