Gray cast iron

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Gray cast iron


A hard, brittle Cast iron that contains 1-3% Silicon in addition to the Carbon. In grey cast iron, the silicon causes the carbon to come out of solution as Graphite. The small flakes of graphite imbedded in the ferrite matrix make the alloy flow easily when melted; the resultant iron alloy is softer and has good corrosion and wear resistance. Gray cast iron is extremely brittle and can shatter when struck.

Phase diagragm of iron-carbon

Synonyms and Related Terms

gray iron; grey cast iron (Br.); fonte grise (Fr.); Grauguß (Deut.); grijs gietijzer (Ned.); ferro fundido cinzento (Port.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Gray cast iron has less tensile strength and shock resistance than steel.
  • It is difficult to weld.
  • The seasoning or impregnation of cast iron cookware with oil minimizes rusting.

Resources and Citations

  • David C. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1991
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996

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