Steel Castings vs. Iron Castings

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Steel Castings vs. Iron Castings

When we talk about steel castings, we are usually referring to the metal casting or cast steel materials such as carbon steel and alloy steel, with carbon content of 2% or lower.

Cast iron, on the other hand, usually refers to gray iron, ductile iron and malleable iron, which often molded in the same or similar methods as steel castings, but with a carbon content above 2%.

The chemical makeup of steel castings and iron castings can sometimes be quite similar, but the function or mechanical properties of the two materials often varies significantly.

Steel Castings

Cast steel has is a highly-strength material suited to numerous critical engineering applications. By modifying your steel metallurgy and specifying different heat treatments, steel castings mechanical properties can be adjusted substantially.

Steel castings can be used for a variety of working conditions, and its mechanical properties are typically superior to most other metal casting alloys. For example, to withstand the high tensile stress demands or dynamic load requirements of different components, steel is often specified for pressure vessel castings in low or high temperature conditions.

Iron Castings

Gray iron castings (or gray cast iron) have good casting properties, good vibration dampening, moderate wear resistance, and moderate machinability with relatively low notch sensitivity. However, the drawback of gray iron is its tensile strength and elongation, both of which are very low. cast iron is suitable for producing some metal parts with low mechanical requirements, such as protective cover, cover, oil pan, hand wheels, frame, floor, hammer, small handle, base, frame, box, knife, bed, bearing seat, table, wheels, cover, pump, valve, pipe, flywheel, motor blocks etc.

Grey cast iron also has some high grades, so the grey iron castings with high grades can withstand greater load, and a certain degree of tightness and corrosion resistance. Such as cylinder, gear, base, flywheels, bed, cylinder block, cylinder liner (or cylinder sleeves), piston, gear box, brake wheel, coupling plates, medium pressure valve, etc.

For cylinder sleeve applications of cast iron or ductile iron, you can refer to:

Ductile iron and malleable iron have higher strength, better ductility, heat-resistance and toughness than grey iron, so these materials have broader applications, and in some cases, ductile iron can replace carbon steel.

Considering its mechanical advantages, here are many fields where ductile iron is used, such as pressure pipes and fittings, Automotive applications, Agriculture, road and construction applications, General engineering applications.

2017-09-29T21:10:59+00:00September 29th, 2017|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am the president of a mid-size iron and steel castings company in Northeast Ohio. The foundry business is dirty, smoky, competitive, and not for the faint of heart. One must endure blistering heat, and go without seeing light for days, if not weeks or months at a time… Okay, that's a slight exaggeration. As a descendant of famed Siberian pathfinder Dmitri Zlatzutuov, I'm eager to carry on the family tradition of persevering no matter what obstacles lie ahead. Now that I'm done giving you the family history, I can tell you that I'm also an attorney and I volunteer a portion of my time to causes involving First Amendment litigation, as well as for Community Legal Services out of Akron, Ohio—for which I was recently recognized as ‘Volunteer Attorney of the Year.’ In addition to my normal day-to-day, I occasionally have works published in journals and magazines, though much less often lately, as running a company tends to fully occupy one's time.


  1. martopearl March 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Realy very useful and required Information, thank you.

    Alloy steel castings

  2. Vivek Soni March 25, 2018 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Very impressive post. its a knowledge different from text books. thanks for sharing

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