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Cast Iron


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Cast Iron


Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon, and is popular because of its low cost and ability to make complex structures. The carbon content in cast iron is 3% to 4.5% by weight. Silicon and small amounts of Manganese, Sulfur, and Phosphorus are also present in it. The products of cast iron exhibit reasonable resistance against corrosion. The cast iron is neither malleable nor ductile, and it cannot be hardened like steel. It melts at about 2100 ºF, and has either a crystalline or a granular fracture.


1. Tensile Strength:

Different varieties of cast iron are used in the construction of machines and structures. Cast iron having a tensile strength of 5 tons per square inch, or less, is of no value for the purpose where strength is required. This type may however be used for balance weights, foundation blocks, or for purposes where weight alone is of consequence. Some varieties of cast iron show a tensile strength as high as 19 tons per square inch, but on an average, the strength is 7 tons per square inch. Addition of vanadium can increase the strength of cast iron.

2. High Compressive Strength:

Compressive strength is defined as the ability of a material to withstand forces which attempt to squeeze or compress it. Cast iron shows high compressive strength, which makes it desirable for use in columns and posts of buildings. The compressive strength of gray cast iron can be almost as high as that of some mild steels.