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Posted on Jul 14, 20203
Gray cast iron is a type of iron used in castings and is known for its gray color and appearance due to the fracturing of graphite in the steel. It is the most used type of material for die and mold manufacture and, not surprisingly, has a lot of unique advantages that we want to talk about in this article.
The reason why gray cast iron has this name is its graphite flake structure created by the carbon during the hardening process. Gray iron is the product of the materials used and the casting process of the pieces. In other words, the properties of gray iron can change based on which materials are mixed together to be poured into the mould and the method used for casting. Gray cast iron is created by the melting of pig iron. It's a steel and iron alloy. This also contains small quantities of carbon, arsenic, manganese and sulfur. The explanation for its success is its ability to produce complex structures at low cost. However, the excellent properties of gray cast iron make it one of the most commonly used alloys.
Let's take a closer look at some advantages and applications of gray cast iron.
Gray iron castings are common because gray iron is one of the cheapest parts of cast irons made. It has sufficient ductility, tensile strength, yield strength and impact resistance for most applications. Gray iron also has outstanding vibration damping capabilities, making it suitable for mechanical bases and other housing applications. Gray iron has a high thermal conductivity, which makes it easier to transfer heat through metals. While the tensile strength and impact resistance of gray cast iron is weaker than most other castings, the compressive strength is equivalent to low-carbon and medium-carbon steel. Such mechanical properties are influenced by the size and shape of the graphite flakes in the microstructure. The final advantage of gray iron castings is that they can withstand well thermal cycling. Thermal cycle is where components switch back and forth between higher and lower temperatures. Although thermal cycling can cause stress and premature failure in certain types of metal castings, gray iron has proven to be able to withstand thermal cycling strains well and is not easily stressed. Below you can some of the unique characteristics of Gray Cast Iron.
This strength is characterized by the toughness of any metal or alloy to withstand its compressive strength. Gray cast iron has a high compressive strength, which is why it is commonly used in columns and columns of houses. In addition, their compressive strength can be as strong as some mild steel.
• Tensile Strength
There are various types of gray cast iron and its tensile strength varies accordingly but on average gray cast iron has a strength of 7 tons per square inch. You can increase that number by adding vanadium.
• Resistance to Deformation
Gray Cast Iron provides very rigid structural properties and anti-deformation qualities. However, if there is n issue with the construction itself, even a gray cast iron structure can be broken down.
• Low Melting Point
The melting point of gray cast iron is at around – 1140 -1200 degree Celsius which is very low.
• Resistance to Oxidation
Gray cast iron is very resistant when it comes to oxidation so you don’t have to worry too much about corrosion.
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If you use a powerful microscope, you will see graphite microstructures that make gray iron easy to identify. You can see small black graphite scales in gray iron castings. These flakes can cause cracks and give the material a gray appearance. Gray iron castings produced worldwide each year are heavier than any other casting form. Nearly every manhole cover is made of gray iron, and the disc brakes on your car are also likely to be gray iron. Gray cast iron has an exceptionally high thermal conductivity and heat power, which means that gray cast iron is easier to pass heat through metal, and it is typically used in the manufacture of cast iron cooking utensils.
Nevertheless, the shock resistance and tensile strength of gray cast iron is weaker than that of steel than most other castings, and its compressive strength is equivalent to that of low carbon steel and medium carbon steel. The size and shape of the graphite flakes present in the microstructure are the factors that influence the mechanical properties of the graphite flakes. Many common applications of gray cast iron include the manufacture of cinderblocks, manhole covers electrical boxes, weights and counterweights, pump housings, gears, automobile parts, couplings, valves and many more.
You can find many machine tools on our site that are suitable for gray cast iron processing. Just head to our product section or check out our search function to find hundreds of manufacturers in our product database. If you want to learn more about gray cast iron related questions and applications make sure to check out our other blog entries.
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