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Cast iron

Structure of cast iron

The two most important types of cast iron are grey cast iron and spheroidal graphite cast iron:

Grey cast iron

Structure: Graphite flakes in a iron matrix
Compressive stress: Excellent compressive strength and low elastic modulus
Wear behaviour: The friction coefficient is low (graphite lubrication)
Brittleness: Percentage elongation after fracture is very low, extremely notch sensitive
Strength: Tensile strength is relatively low ( in function of grade), no yield point - no overload capacity
Machining / Cutting: Very good machinability for drilling and machining, cannot be sheared
Oxyacetylene cutting is difficult.

Grey cast iron structure
Grey cast iron structure

Typical stress elongation curve for grey cast iron
Typical stress elongation curve for grey cast iron

Spheroidal graphite cast iron

Structure: Spheroidal graphite in a iron matrix
Compressive stress: Excellent compressive strength, slightly more elastic than steel
Wear behaviour: Similar to cast steel
Brittleness: Plastic deformation (percentage elongation) after fracture is much higher than for grey cast iron
Strength: Tensile strength up to 800 MPa, elastic limit is at least half the tensile strength
Machining / Cutting: Very good machinability for drilling and machining, cannot be sheared
Oxyacetylene cutting is difficult.

Spheroidal graphite cast iron structure
Spheroidal graphite cast iron structure

Typical stress elongation curve for spheroidal graphite cast iron
Typical stress elongation curve for spheroidal graphite cast iron

Typical components

Grey cast iron

  • Heavy parts in general
  • Machine bases
  • Gears, heavy gear boxes
  • Pulleys, transmission cases
  • Housings, casings
  • Machine guards
  • Engine cylinder blocks and heads
  • Furnace parts, moulds, glass moulds
  • Cold cropping tools
  • Valves, gates, pump bodies

Spheroidal graphite cast iron

  • Heavy parts in general
  • Machine bases
  • Gears, crankshafts
  • Pulleys
  • Housings, casings
  • Machine guards
  • Heavy tubes, pipelines, fittings
  • Cold cropping tools
  • Stamping tools and dies
  • Valve and pump bodies (steam, etc.)

For further information, on-site training, technical advise or project management, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Last update: September 7, 2015

All information is supplied in good faith and without prejudice.
Wear-Management provides all information without any warranty.
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Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire document is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.