What is Ductile Iron?

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Ductile iron is also known as spheroidal graphite or nodular iron. Iron is an alloy that consists of silicon, sulfur, manganese and carbonated iron. Ductile iron is made by increasing the amount of carbon in iron. The level of carbon added to iron exceeds its solubility limits and as it solidifies, graphite gets into the tiny spheres. Silicon plus other alloys regulate the morphology of precipitating graphite and the carbon levels that remain in the iron in solid form. However, the level of carbon remaining in solid form depends on the speed of cooling and solidification and on other components added either to enhance graphitization or to create pearlite.

Features of Ductile Iron

Ductile iron is not as fragile as gray cast iron. When hardened through straight heat treatment, ductile iron is as tough and strong as carburized steel. Ductile iron has advanced graphite which aids in dampening gear friction, hydraulic and machine parts. Its noise reduction ability is ten times that of steel. Ductile iron’s lethargy ability ranges between 30 and 40 ksi but depends on its grade. Ductile iron is graded according to its flexibility, elongation and yield ability. However, these properties are not entirely helpful in determining ductile iron’s suitability for various applications.

Uses of Ductile Iron

For many years, ductile iron has been appropriate for machine tool sector due to its friction reduction ability. Its machinability makes it an ideal choice particularly because it is reasonably priced. Ductile iron may be used to replace gears and applications that use carbon steel bars. For instance, ductile iron is used to replace motor gears due to its damping ability and reduced cost. Conversions of ductile iron are common in applications that utilize fluid power such as rod and glands guides, hydrostatic barrels, cylinders, and manifolds with high pressure.

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