What Are the Different Types of Cast Iron?

May 12, 2020


Cast iron is a versatile metal with a wide range of applications. Read on to discover the different types of cast iron here.

You probably have a cast iron skillet in your kitchen, but cast iron has many more uses than cooking delicious food! Cast iron comes in a variety of strengths for different applications.

Outside of the kitchen, you can find cast iron used in the agriculture and automotive industries for decades. You might also fall in love with cast iron grates, railings, and furniture when decorating your home.

What are the different types of cast iron? Keep reading to learn more!Gray Cast Iron
The most common and widely used form of cast iron, gray cast iron is one of the least shock-resistant forms of cast iron. It contains graphite flakes that form into small gray cracks upon impact. This characteristic gives this type of cast iron its "gray" name.

However, it's plenty strong! The small fractures won't often weaken gray cast iron. It also handles heat well and is one of the cheapest types of cast iron to produce.
You'll find gray cast iron in different types of gears, automotive suspension components, pumps, stove parts, tractor parts, valves, and cookware.

White Cast Iron

Known for its hard yet brittle characteristics, white cast iron has an off-white color. It's easier to heat and form white cast iron into intricate shapes when compared to other types of cast iron.

It's extremely tough and resistant to abrasions. However, white cast iron often flakes upon impact. To make good use of white cast iron despite the flakes, its ideal usage is as a shell liner, inside slurry pumps and lifter bars, and lining things like cement mixers and pipe fittings.

Malleable Cast Iron

It might be hard to picture "malleable" iron, but this type of cast iron is best for forming into different shapes through heat treatment. It's often cheaper than steel, and the malleable benefits of this type of cast iron make it suitable for a wide range of uses.
Because malleable iron can withstand high pressure, it's perfect for heating and cooling systems, emergency sprinkler systems, gas line piping, large parts for the transportation industry, for piping in the construction of industrial plants.

Ductile Cast Iron

By adding magnesium to molten iron, ductile cast iron became a new way to use cast iron beginning in the 1940s.

The structure of ductile cast iron makes it more durable than other types of cast iron. It's easy to cast and machine into smaller parts and fittings. It's also more cost-effective and often stronger than steel when constructing water or sewer lines, gearboxes, oil well pumps, and machine frames.

We've only scratched the surface about different types of cast iron, but you can learn more from an iron foundry.

Create With Different Types of Cast Iron

You might not need to build a pipeline, but different types of cast iron can add a rustic effect to your interior or exterior design. Add cast iron furniture to your outdoor space or repurpose cast iron pieces into an art installation!
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to browse some of our other features!

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