Why Not Convert to Ductile Iron?
Cast iron is generally thought of as a weak, dirty, cheap, brittle material that does not have a place in applications requiring high strength and defined engineering properties. While gray cast iron is relatively brittle by comparison with steel, ductile iron is not. In fact, ductile iron has strengths and toughness very similar to steel and the machinability advantages make an attractive opportunity for significant cost reductions. Gray and ductile iron bar stock is commercially available and can be used as a direct replacement in applications that are currently being made from carbon steel bar. Ductile iron bar stock conversions are very prevalent in many fluid power applications including glands and rod guides, cylinders, hydrostatic transmission barrels and in high-pressure manifolds. Automotive gears are being converted to ductile iron for its damping capacity and cost reductions.