How to define cast iron

How to define cast iron

Cast iron and steel – two types of compounds of iron with carbon – find the broadest application in various industries. But sometimes there is need to distinguish cast iron from steel, for example, at repair, these alloys have different properties and, respectively, demand the different address.


1. You can determine cast iron by product density. Weigh subject, and then define what volume of water it forces out. Thus you will calculate its density and will draw conclusion on material. The fact is that density of the main steel grades lies within 7.7 - 7.9 граммов/см^3, density of the most widespread gray cast iron does not exceed 7.2 граммов/см^3. But it is way it is unreliable as there is still white cast iron which density fluctuates between 7.6 and 7.8 граммами/см^3. Therefore, it could be applied only firmly convinced: the product is made either of steel, or of gray cast iron.

2. You can use magnet. To cast iron it sticks worse, than to steel. But also it is impossible to call this way exact as some types alloyed staly with the high content of nickel almost do not attract magnet.

3. Therefore it is more reliable to use one of the following methods: to define cast iron by type of the formed sawdust or shaving and also by the grinder. Take smooth cut file, several times carry out on product surface. Try to collect the formed smallest sawdust on the sheet of paper. Fold paper double and vigorously rub. If it is cast iron, then paper will be considerably soiled if it is steel, there will practically be no trace left.

4. You can posverlit also a little product thin drill (certainly, not from face side, and in the place which is not evident). At the same time small amount of shaving is formed. It is possible to determine by its exterior and properties unmistakably of what material the part is made. If it is cast iron – shaving will literally be scattered at you in fingers, turning into dust. If it is steel – shaving will look as twisted spring and can even scratch your fingers if you try to break it.

5. At last, it is possible to judge material in size, form and color of the sparks which are formed when on edge of product carry out by the grinder. The more carbon content, the will be brighter and stronger sheaf of light yellow sparks. And carbon content in cast iron is much higher, than in steel.

6. If there are doubts – better to use pieces of cast iron and steel as standards and to compare form and properties of sawdust (shavings) and also type of the formed sparks to what turns out when processing these samples.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team