Cast iron is iron or a ferrous alloy which has been heated until it liquefies, and is then poured into a mould to solidify. It is usually made from pig iron. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through. Grey cast iron, or grey iron, has graphitic flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks.
Carbon (C) and silicon (Si) are the main alloying elements, with the amount ranging from 2.1 to 4 wt% and 1 to 3 wt%, respectively. Iron alloys with less carbon content are known as steel. While this technically makes these base alloys ternary Fe-C-Si alloys, the principle of cast iron solidification is understood from the binary iron-carbon phase diagram. Since the compositions of most cast irons are around the eutectic point of the iron-carbon system, the melting temperatures closely correlate, usually ranging from 1,150 to 1,200 °C (2,102 to 2,192 °F), which is about 300 °C (572 °F) lower than the melting point of pure iron.
Cast iron tends to be brittle, except for malleable cast irons. With its relatively low melting point, good fluidity, castability, excellent machinability, resistance to deformation and wear resistance, cast irons have become an engineering material with a wide range of applications and are used in pipes, machines and automotive industry parts, such as cylinder heads (declining usage), cylinder blocks and gearbox cases (declining usage). It is resistant to destruction and weakening by oxidation (rust).
The earliest cast iron artifacts date to the 5th century BC, and were discovered by archaeologists in what is now modern Luhe County, Jiangsu in China. Cast iron was used in ancient China for warfare, agriculture, and architecture. During the 15th century, cast iron became utilized for artillery in Burgundy, France, and in England during the Reformation. The first cast iron bridge was built during the 1770s by Abraham Darby III, and is known as the The Iron Bridge.
Other articles related to "cast iron, iron":
... The cast iron windshaft was probably not made for the mill originally ... This drives a cast iron wallower with 25 teeth ... The cast iron upright shaft is 5 inches (130 mm) diameter and in three parts, with dog clutches at the fourth and fifth floor ...
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... inches (4.42 m) diameter and 7 feet 10 inches (2.39 m) wide, carried on a + section cast iron axle of a nominal 20 inches (510 mm) diameter ... This also carried a cast iron Pit Wheel 10 feet 8 inches (3.25 m) diameter with 96 cogs driving a Wallower with 34 teeth on a cast iron Upright Shaft carrying a cast iron Great Spur Wheel with 114 cogs ...
... A blast furnace converts raw iron ore into pig iron, which can be remelted in a cupola furnace to produce cast iron ... The earliest specimens of cast iron found in China date to the 5th century BCE during the late Spring and Autumn Period, yet the oldest discovered blast furnaces date to. 141–87 BCE) established a government monopoly over the iron industry in 117 BCE (most of the discovered iron works sites built before this date were merely foundries which recast ...
... to provide the building with an iron frame, largely of cast iron, replacing flammable wood ... Many other warehouses were built using cast iron columns and beams, although faulty designs, flawed beams or overloading sometimes caused building collapses and structural failures ... During the Industrial Revolution, cast iron was also widely used for frame and other fixed parts of machinery, including spinning and later weaving machines in textile mills ...
Famous quotes containing the words iron and/or cast:
“By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:”
—Francis Miles Finch (18271907)
“... stars that marked
those in whose faces
you had not
looked. They were cast out
as if they were
some animals, some beasts.”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)