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Castiron(gray,whiteandmalleable)isamanmadealloyofiron,carbon,and
silicon.Aportionofthecarbonexistsasfreecarbonorgraphite.Totalcarbon
contentisbetween1.7and4.5percent.
Castironisusedforwaterpipes,machinetoolcastings,transmissionhousing,
engineblocks,pistons,stovecastings,etc.
Themetalcanbebrazedorbronzewelded,gasandarcwelded,hardened,or
machined.Intermsoflimitations,thecastironmustbepreheatedpriorto
welding.Itcannotbeworkedcold.
Oftenbrazingisthebestapproachforrepairingcastiron,particularlywhenthe
partsneedtoberebuiltandthenmachinedtotherighttolerance.

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Ifyouwanttobrazecastiron,meltingthebasemetalisnotnecessarysincetherodhasabuilt
influx.
Clearanceshouldbearound.003formaximumtensileandshearstrength.
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Therodtakesextremeheat,above1400degreestopenetratetheporesofthemetal.
Therodrequiredtobrazecastironweldsallcastiron,brass,nickel,copper,andmorethan50
differentkindsofsteel,includingstainless.
Openthepoursaroundtheareatoberepaired,drill,andgrindoutaUshapeinthemetal,soit
isnolongerahairlinecrack.
Practicewithcastironbygrindingaslot1/16thto1/8thofaninchintothemetal.Useabrazing
orcuttingtiptobringthemetalto1400degrees.
Themetalwillstarttoturnredat600degrees,butcontinueheating.
Testtherodonthemetal1/4inchoutsidethebulkoftheflame.
Therodhasafluxcorethatwillmeltmuchlowerthantherod,soiftheroditselfwillnotmelt,
havepatience.
Whenyouarecloseto1400degrees,itwilllooklikeyou'regoingtoburnaholeinthemetalbut
donotworry.
Onceyouseetheroditselfismelting,scratchtherodallaroundtheareatoberepaired.
Therodwillmeltand,withthehelpofthefluxcore,willfusedownintothemetal.
Whenyoupullthetorch,itwillbecherryredforabout20seconds.
Ifyouhavefollowedtheinstructionsexplicitlyandscratchedtherodallaroundtheareatobe
repairedthoroughly,youwillhavethestrongestweldpossibleonthatparticularmetal.
Youmaythengrind,shape,polish,andpaintasdesired.
ForMoreinformationseethisvideoofhowtobrazecastironandtherodyouneed.

MigCastIronWeld
PhotoCredit:DocsMachine

CastIronProperties
CastironhasaBrinellhardnessnumberof150to220(noalloys)and300to600(alloyed)
tensilestrengthof25,000to50,000psi(172,375to344,750kPa)(noalloys)and50,000to
100,000psi(344,750to689,500kPa)(alloyed)specificgravityof7.6highcompressive
strengththatisfourtimesitstensilestrengthhighrigiditygoodwearresistanceandfair
corrosionresistance.

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Agriculturecombinepartbeingrebuiltusingcastironbrazingprocesswithmachining
totherightspecification.
PhotoCredit:PaulAbshireWeldingWorks

GrayCastIron
Ifthemoltenpigironispermittedtocoolslowly,thechemicalcompoundofironandcarbon
breaksuptoacertainextent.Muchofthecarbonseparatesastinyflakesofgraphitescattered
throughoutthemetal.Thisgraphitelikecarbon,asdistinguishedfromcombinedcarbon,causes
thegrayappearanceofthefracture,whichcharacterizesordinarygraycastiron.
Sincegraphiteisanexcellentlubricant,andthemetalisshotthroughoutwithtiny,flaky
cleavages,graycastironiseasytomachinebutcannotwithstandaheavyshock.Graycastiron
consistsof90to94percentmetallicironwithamixtureofcarbon,manganese,phosphorus,
sulfur,andsilicon.Specialhighstrengthgradesofthismetalalsocontain0.75to1.50percent
nickeland0.25to0.50percentchromiumor0.25to1.25percentmolybdenum.
Commercialgrayironhas2.50to4.50percentcarbon.About1percentofthecarbonis
combinedwiththeiron,whileabout2.75percentremainsinthefreeorgraphiticstate.In
makinggraycastiron,thesiliconcontentisusuallyincreased,sincethisallowstheformationof
graphiticcarbon.Thecombinedcarbon(ironcarbide),whichisasmallpercentageofthetotal
carbonpresentincastiron,isknownascementite.
Ingeneral,themorefreecarbon(graphiticcarbon)presentincastiron,thelowerthecombined
carboncontentandthesoftertheiron.

TestsforGrayCastIron
AppearanceTest
Theunmachinedsurfaceofgraycastironcastingsisaverydullgrayincolorandmaybe
somewhatroughenedbythesandmoldusedincastingthepart.Castironcastingsarerarely
machinedallover.Unmachinedcastingsmaybegroundinplacestoremoveroughedges.
FractureTest
Nickacornerallaroundwithachiselorhacksawandstrikethecornerwithasharpblowofthe
hammer.Thedarkgraycolorofthebrokensurfaceiscausedbyfineblackspecksofcarbon
presentintheformofgraphite.Castironbreaksshortwhenfractured.Small,brittlechipsmade
withachiselbreakoffassoonastheyareformed.
SparkTest
Asmallvolumeofdullredsparksthatfollowastraightlineclosetothewheelaregivenoffwhen
thismetalissparktested.Thesebreakupintomanyfine,repeatedspurtsthatchangetoa
strawcolor.
TorchTest
Thetorchtestresultsinapuddleofmoltenmetalthatisquietandhasajellylikeconsistency.
Whenthetorchflameisraised,thedepressioninthesurfaceofthemoltspuddledisappears
instantly.Aheavy,toughfilmformsonthesurfaceasitmelts.Themoltenpuddletakestimeto
hardenandgivesoffnosparks.
BrazingCastIronManifold

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WhiteCastIron
Whengraycastironisheatedtothemoltenstate,thecarboncompletelydissolvesintheiron,
probablycombiningchemicallywithit.Ifthismoltenmetaliscooledquickly,thetwoelements
remaininthecombinedstate,andwhitecastironisformed.Thecarboninthistypeofiron
measuresabove2.5to4.5percentbyweight,andisreferredtoascombinedcarbon.Whitecast
ironisveryhardandbrittle,oftenimpossibletomachine,andhasasilverywhitefracture.

MalleableCastIron
Malleablecastironismadebyheatingwhitecastironfrom1400to1700F(760and927C)for
abut150hoursinboxescontaininghematiteoreorironscale.Thisheatingcausesapartofthe
combinedcarbontochangeintothefreeoruncombinedstate.Thisfreecarbonseparatesina
differentwayfromcarboningraycastironandiscalledtempercarbon.Itexistsintheformof
small,roundedparticlesofcarbonwhichgivemalleableironcastingstheabilitytobendbefore
breakingandtowithstandshockbetterthangraycastiron.Thecastingshavepropertiesmore
likethoseofpureiron:highstrength,ductility,toughness,andabilitytoresistshock.Malleable
castironcanbeweldedandbrazed.Anyweldedpartshouldbeannealedafterwelding.
AppearanceTest
Thesurfaceofmalleablecastironisverymuchlikegraycastiron,butisgenerallyfreefrom
sand.Itisdullgrayandsomewhatlighterincolorthangraycastiron.
FractureTest
Whenmalleablecastironisfractured,thecentralportionofthebrokensurfaceisdarkgraywith
abright,steellikebandattheedges.Theappearanceofthefracturemaybestbedescribedasa
pictureframe.Whenofgoodquality,malleablecastironismuchtougherthanothercastiron
anddoesnotbreakshortwhennicked.
SparkTest
Whenmalleablecastironisground,theouter,brightlayergivesoffbrightsparkslikesteel.As
theinteriorisreached,thesparksquicklychangetoadullredcolornearthewheel.Thesesparks
fromtheinteriorsectionareverymuchlikethoseofcastironhowever,theyaresomewhat
longerandarepresentinlargevolume.
TorchTest
Moltenmalleablecastironboilsunderthetorchflame.Aftertheflamehasbeenwithdrawn,the
surfacewillbefullofblowholes.Whenfractured,themeltedpartsareveryhardandbrittle,
havingtheappearanceofwhitecastiron(theyhavebeenchangedtowhiteorchilledironby
meltingandfairlyrapidcooling).Theoutside,bright,steellikebandgivesoffsparks,butthe
centerdoesnot.

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