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Cast iron is produced by melting iron and pouring the molten iron into a mold, then allowing the iron to harden into the desired shape.This process is called casting.Mechanical properties describe how materials respond to applied forces. Alloys are metals with varying amounts of other elements mixed in to alter their properties.Both cast iron and alloys are widely used in the steel castings,precision castings,alloy castings and so on.However,few people knows the mechanical properties of cast iron alloys.


Iron Phases


Iron atoms can be arranged in a number of different crystal structures.Cast iron can also contain varying amounts of carbon atoms.The different crystal structures are called phases.Each phase of iron has slightly different properties. The main phases of iron are ferrite, pearlite, austenite, cementite, bainite and martensite.Each phase has a slightly different crystal structure and contains slightly different proportions of carbon.


Alloying Elements


Alloying elements are any other elements in the cast iron that are not metal.The main alloying element in cast iron is carbon.Other elements are also present in types of cast iron, and are capable of causing a major change in mechanical properties,even if the alloying elements are only present in small concentrations.Apart from carbon,the main alloying elements in cast iron are silicon,sulfur,manganese,nickel, chromium, tin and molybdenum.


Mechanical Properties


Some important mechanical properties are strength, toughness,hardness,plasticity,elasticity, brittleness and ductility.Strength is a measure of the ability of a material to withstand a stress,which is a force applied over an area of the surface of the material.Toughness is a measure of the ability of a material to change shape without fracturing. Hardness is the ability of a material to withstand scratches. Plasticity is the extent to which a material undergoes nonreversible shape change when a force is applied to it. Elasticity is the extent to which a material returns to its original shape when it has been deformed by the action of a force. Brittleness is a measure of the tendency of a material to fracture on impact by a force. Ductility measures how easily a material deforms when it is stretched.


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