Basic workpiece materials

Cast iron

"Cast iron" is an iron that contains a large amount of carbon (2.1%~6.7%). Iron containing large amounts of carbon melts at approximately 1,400°C and can be poured into moulds and formed with comparative ease.

In case of steel, that has a relatively low carbon content, all of the carbon is dissolved into the iron. However, due to the high carbon content, the excess carbon precipitates as graphite. Cast iron has high wear resistance as the graphite formed in the cast iron composition works as a lubricant. However, the graphite formed divides the structure of the iron and as such makes the material "brittle".


When steel is heated up to temperatures of 1,500°C, it can be melted down and cast into shape. This is "cast steel" and not "cast iron". Cast iron is generally referred to as castings, but the material itself is classified based on the carbon content. Therefore not all castings are "cast iron", they could be "cast steel".

Normal cast iron is widely used for

machine chassis and parts.

Ductile cast iron is used in many cases

where a hard-to-break material comes

in handy.