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Lab Session (6)
Cast Iron
Objective Introduction Procedures Testing Device Results/Discussion References

The aim of this experiment is to: 1. Focusing on the cast iron zone in the iron-iron carbide system. 2. Getting acquainted with the different types of cast irons, and the differences between them. 3. Studying the different microstructures of the different types of cast iron.

Cast irons family is one of the most important classes of iron-carbon alloys, with wide range of applications. The name "cast" was given due to the fact that such a type of alloys was designed to be cast-able, rather than experiencing thermal-mechanical treatment in the solid state. There are several types of cast iron, according to the alloying elements composition, which consequently differ in its mechanical, physical properties and microstructure. Close Ad There are three basic reasons for such a wide spectrum of cast iron classes, which are: 1 . The chemical composition of the iron; the existence of certain alloying elements. 2 . The cooling rate of the casting in the mould. 3 . The type of graphite formed and its percent composition. Generally speaking, cast irons contain normally 2%-4% of carbon content. Such a region is included in the phase diagram as shown in figure (1), and labeled in cyan color.

Figure 1 Cast Iron and carbon content on the Fe-Fe3C phase diagram Variations in the carbon content has a decisive effect on the alloy strength, ductility, machineability, grain size, residual stresses, hardness and toughness. As shown on figure (2), the carbon content has a decisive effect on the yield strength, tensile strength, and hardness.

Figure 2 Effect of carbon content on steel alloys properties In addition to iron, cast irons have 1%-3% silicon content which increases the molten metal fluidity to be cast-able, in addition to other alloying elements, such chromium, nickel or molybdenum, which increase strength and corrosion resistance. Cast irons score several material advantages over certain types of steels due to several reasons; they are easily melted which provided lower tooling and production cost when compared to steel alloys, they provide wide range of hardness and strength, good machinability without burring, excellent wear resistance and high hardness (particularly white
http://mat_manf.tripod.com/426/lab6.htm 1/3

excellent vibration damping capacity and good machineability. While the name "white" is given because the fracture surface of this type is white. Ductile (Nodular or Spherulitic Graphite Cast Iron): In this type. and ductile CI. On the other side. It combines the high fluidity. malleable CI. This leads to poor impact resistance. and high vibration damping properties. . they have certain disadvantages that are all attributed to the high carbon content. carbon precipitates in the form of black nodules.tripod. Addition of alloying elements such as: Mg. The solidification rate determines the extent at which graphite forms. There are major four kinds of cast irons. . this provides a limitation on their use. http://mat_manf. White Cast Iron: White cast iron forms when iron in the molten cast iron changes into iron carbide instead of forming graphite upon solidification. It is formed when the carbon in the alloy exceeds the amount that can be dissolved. Ce.1/26/2014 CAST IRON cast iron).Microstructure : A pearlitic matrix in thin sections. CAST IRON TYPES The basic four types of cast iron are: gray CI. In addition. The high silicon content increases fluidity. The microstructure is composed of iron carbide embedded in a pearlitic matrix. but were exposed to certain additions of alloying elements. In fact. from the point of their frequent uses in the industry.htm 2/3 . Ca. corrosion resistance.Properties : good wear resistance. and stabilizes the graphite structure by promoting the formation of graphite. and wear resistance. The basic difference between the four types lies in the carbon and other alloying elements content. Gray Cast Iron (graphite flake cast iron): This type has the highest carbon content among the cast iron classes. the name gray comes from the fact that the fracture surface of gray cast iron is gray due to the exposed graphite. with enhanced mechanical properties. and wear resistance properties.com/426/lab6. the lower the ductility and the higher the brittleness. 2. The following tables shows these differences: Table (1) Types of Cast Iron 1. 3. or certain heat treatment. resistance to galling under restricted motion. carbon starts to precipitates in the form of graphite flakes. The larger the carbon content. their low cost and good properties trade off for such disadvantages. white CI. Therefore. Li & Na are to produce spherodization (spherical carbon precipitates). there are other types that stem from the basic four types. strength. while the black part is pearlite. The white part of the matrix being cementite. They can be alloyed to increase their corrosion resistance. and carbon precipitates in form of graphite flakes in ferrite matrix. Still. Therefore. It has a good ductility.

that depend on the composition of the alloying element in producing different microstructure. William F. b. such as: Silicon Flake Cast Iron. 1996. Low Alloy Nodular Cast Iron. 1997.htm 3/3 . Testing Devices Optical Microscope Results/Discussion Answer the following questions in the body of your discussion (refer to your textbook pages 551-560) 1. Addison Wesley. Malleable cast iron. wear resistance. Back to Main Page Maintained by: Eng. Smith.foundrysd.tripod. 3rd Ed. Describe the microstructure Further References/Images --The following sites and books contain useful information and images for several articles that we have encountered in this experiment. Austenitic Flake.com Casting Foundry Solutions Consulting. followed by etching using 3ml of HNO3 + 100 ml of CH3OH (methyl alcohol). Moataz M. McGraw Hill.html Kalpakjian.01/Taxonomy/Characteristics/Iron. etched by immersing for 15 seconds. Make sure to check them. Other types of CI: There are other types of cast iron. Attallah © The American University in Cairo Foundry Engineering www.mit. Design & Automation http://mat_manf.1/26/2014 CAST IRON 4.. compact cast iron.edu/2.com/426/lab6. Serope. Acicular Cast iron. Manufacturing Process for Engineering Materials. High Silicon Flake Cast Iron. Nodular cast iron c. 5. Malleable Cast Iron: This type is formed initially as white cast iron. Procedures Three specimens were used: a. 3rd Ed.. Common preparation procedures such as grinding and polishing were taken. It is easily machineable and castable. . Then it is heat treated to produce it in a melleablizing furnace to dissociate the iron carbide into rounded clumps of graphite and iron. Academic Page @ MIT http://me. toughness. Principles of Materials Science and Engineering. and Austempered Ductile Iron. Gray cast iron. It shows good ductility.