Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Steel changing states
Name: fairview
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

Could steel change from a solid to gas?

Steel is a form of iron. Steel melts at about 1300 degrees Celsius (2400 Fahrenheit). It's boiling point is about 3000 C (or 5400 F). To generate that much heat would be astounding! Even when you get to the boiling point, you would have to keep adding energy to vaporize the steel. I haven't been able to come across a value for the amount of heat needed for this either (called "delta H of vaporization"), but my guess would be that it is very high since the vapor pressure of molten steel is probably very low (vapor pressure is a measure of a liquid's tendency to go to the gas phase). If your question meant can steel go directly from solid to gas (which is called sublimation, what 'dry ice' does), no.

-Joe Schultz

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory