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There are various types of cast iron, which encompass a large family of ferrous alloys. No, I am not about to bore you with the chemical analysis of Cast Iron, please feel free to do that on your own at www.durabar.com. The main types of cast iron are:
As the iron is cast into shape rather than being formed, it makes for easier working properties. As we strive to improve on cast irons chemical analysis and heat processing, that was not always the case.
Historically, cast iron has served many industries!
Cast Iron was brittle and unsuitable for anything that had a sharp edge or required flexibility. That is why the ironmasters of the past used cast iron for cannons and shots. These were heavily produced until cast iron pots were introduced for cooking in the 1700's. Even, Thomas Newcomen developed the steam engine with cast iron, as it was cheaper than its alternative, brass.
Later, cast iron was utilized for the construction of textile mills. As cast iron was found to be convenient and replaced flammable wood in the framing of the mills.
With the Industrial Revolution came the wide use of cast iron in framing and other fixed parts of machinery for the spinning and weaving of textiles, foundries and agriculture.
Then, in 1942, Keith Millis invented ductile iron. This has led us to the numerous applications of today. Ductile Iron is used in auto construction, industrial machinery, water and sewer lines, lawn and garden equipment, to name a few.
As ductile iron is known for is free machining properties, casting can mean less machining which allows for opportunity for lower costs and improved profits.
So, with less wear and tear, minimal machining, more money in your pockets and the ability to purchase custom cut blocks from NorthWest Valve Block Supply...
Thanks to all the people at Wikipedia.com, durabar.com and Industrial Press, Inc for all the helpful information that made this page possible.