How Does an Electric Iron Work?
An electric iron uses a heating element which gets hot when an electric current passes through it. The element is inside the iron base, or soleplate, made of aluminum, stainless steel or nonstick coating. The electric current passes to the heating element through a thermostat, which controls the temperature of the iron.
When the iron is turned on, electricity flows through wires, called resistance wires in the heating element. The resistance wires resist, or oppose, the flow of electricity so strongly that heat is produced. It is the heat and weight of the iron which flatten the wrinkles in your clothes, bonding in the middle of the molecules of the clothes to become weak and pliable. When the clothes cool again, the molecules in the clothes strengthen again, but in a flattened position.
Other irons such as Hand irons have an electric loading up to 1,000 watts and weigh from 3-6 pounds. Steam irons contain reservoirs of water which release steam through holes in the sole plate directly on to the article being ironed. In this way they produce, at the same time, the moisture, heat and pressure needed to make the fiber pliable and remove the creases.