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Types of Ductile Iron

A variety of attributes are obtained by microstructural control, and hence various types of ductile iron are available for industrial uses. They are:

  • Ferritic Ductile Iron: Ferritic ductile iron is made up of graphite nodules contained in a ferrite matrix. This ductile iron has high ductility and impact resistance, as well as tensile and yield strengths comparable to low carbon steel.
  • Ferritic Pearlitic Ductile Iron: The graphite spheroids are contained in a matrix of ferrite and pearlite in the microstructure. The characteristics of ferritic pearlitic ductile iron are in between those of ferritic and pearlitic grades. They can be easily machined and have minimal production costs.
  • Pearlitic Ductile Iron: The microstructure of this type of ductile iron is characterized by a pearlite matrix. They have high strength, good wear resistance, modest ductility, and impact resistance.

The ductile irons listed above are used in their as-cast condition. Alloying and heat treatment can provide additional ductile iron grades to fulfill a range of application needs. As a result, the following ductile iron grades are commonly used:

  • Martensitic Ductile Iron: This type of ductile iron is created through quench-and-temper heat treatment, which prevents the development of pearlite. Martensitic ductile iron has very high strength and wears resistance but low ductility and toughness.
  • Bainitic Ductile Iron: It is a ductile iron material that is extremely hard and wear-resistant.
  • Austenitic Ductile Iron: This ductile iron’s austenitic matrix provides good corrosion and oxidation resistance, as well as good magnetic characteristics, strength, and dimensional stability at high temperatures.
  • Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI): This is the newest type of ductile iron. ADI is twice as strong as pearlitic ductile iron due to a special austempering heat treatment. It also has excellent elongation, toughness, wears resistance, and fatigue strength.

Ductile Iron Properties

When compared to other cast iron families, ductile iron has superior characteristics. It improves the resistance to breakage against pressures or shocks, increasing the safety and reliability of ductile iron parts. The following are the properties of ductile iron:

  • Outstanding fatigue resistance
  • Excellent cast ability 
  • Great machinability
  • High compressive strength
  • Excellent strength-to-weight ratio
  • Appropriate for large and complex designs

Uses of Ductile Iron

Despite having qualities identical to cast steel, ductile iron is far less expensive. Ductile iron is an excellent choice for a variety of technical applications due to properties such as high yield strength, wear resistance, ductility, pressure tightness, impact resistance, heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and so on.

The following are some examples of products or components where ductile iron is widely used:

  1. More than half of ductile iron is utilized in the production of ductile iron pipes and fittings for the conveying of various fluids.
  2. In the automotive sector, crankshafts and connecting rods
  3. Cylinders
  4. Oil well pumps
  5. Agricultural tractors
  6. Wheels
  7. Cable Drums
  8. Gas Turbine Casing
  9. The crankcase and Air Compressor Block
  10. Backhoe Loader Swing Pivot and Stabilizer Foot
  11. Gears and Gear Boxes
  12. Calipers for disc brakes
  13. Manifolds and housings
  14. Hydrostatic Barrels
  15. Massive Machinery
  16. Idler’s arms
  17. Pump Housing
  18. Military applications
  19. Machining Tools
  20. Piano Harps
  21. Suspension system components
  22. Spindle supports
  23. Steering knuckles
  24. Power transmission yokes
  25. Truck axles
  26. High-pressure Valves
  27. Wheel hubs

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