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Cast Iron vs Cast Steel

One of our dandong foundry clients asked me which one is better for cast iron vs cast steel. I will have to say, no one is better, but just which one is more suitable to your products.

Firstly, let us know what is the cast iron and cast steel.

Cast iron usually refers to gray iron, ductile iron and malleable iron, which is iron casting with carbon content upper than 2%.

Cast steel usually refers to normal carbon steel and alloy steel, or called steel casting with carbon content lower than 2%.

Therefore, no big difference considering from the chemical content and raw materials for cast iron vs cast steel. However, their physical properties have many differences.

The advantage and disadvantage of cast iron.

The grey cast iron has good casting properties, good vibration damping, good wear resistance, good machinability and low notch sensitivity. However, its tensile strength and elongation are very low, so only can produce some metal parts with low physical requirements, such as protective cover, cover, oil pan, hand wheels, frame, floor, hammer, small handle, base, frame, box, knife, bed, bearing seat, table, wheels, cover, pump, valve, pipe, flywheel, motor blocks etc. As for the higher grades, grey cast iron can withstand greater load and a certain degree of tightness or corrosion resistance of the more important castings such as cylinder, gear, base, flywheels, bed, cylinder block, cylinder liner, piston, gear box, brake wheel, coupling Plate, medium pressure valve, etc. refer to iron-foundry.com.

The ductile iron and malleable iron have high strength, ductility, heat-resistance and toughness, so a wider application, in some cases can replace the carbon steel. However, its production technology is high, production process is more complex, and production cost is higher than normal grey cast iron and cast steel, therefore, there are more casting defects for ductile iron. There are many fields that ductile iron are using for, such as Pressure pipes and fittings, Automotive applications, Agriculture, road and construction applications, General engineering applications.

The advantage and disadvantage of cast steel.

One of the advantages of cast steel is the design flexibility, the designer of the casting have the greatest freedom of design choices, especially the complex shape and hollow cross-section parts.

Cast steel has the metallurgy manufacturing flexibility and strongest variability, you can choose a different chemical composition and control, adapted to the various requirements of different projects. By different heat treatment choice in the larger context of the mechanical properties and performance, and good weldability and workability.

Cast steel is a kind of isotropic material and can be made into the overall structural strength steel castings, thereby improving the reliability of the project. Coupled with the design and weight the advantages of short delivery time, price and economy has a competitive advantage.

The weight range of steel castings is larger. Little weight can be only a few dozen grams of molten mold precision castings, and the weight of large steel castings up to several tons, dozens of tons or hundreds of tons.

Steel castings can be used for a variety of working conditions, and its mechanical properties superior to any other casting alloys, and a variety of high-alloy steel for special purposes. To withstand high tensile stress or dynamic load of components, it is important pressure vessel castings in low or high temperature by the large and important part load key parts, in principle, should give priority to steel castings.

However, the cast steel has comparatively bad shake-suction, wear resistance, mobility and the casting performance are compared bad with cast iron, moreover, the costs are higher than normal cast iron.

Therefore, for cast iron vs cast steel, they have their own advantages and disadvantages, you should choose it according to your application and their physical properties.

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