Cast Steel vs. Cast Iron

When designing a new metal component by casting, the designer or user may doubt if cast steel or cast iron should be more ideal for its application. Frankly speaking, both cast steel and cast iron have their own advantages and disadvantages. We can only select the right material according to its properties and the working environment of the casting part. To help our customers to tell the differences of these two kinds of different materials better, below we will introduce them in detail:

Cast Steel

cast steel

Cast steel mostly refers to normal cast carbon steel and alloy steel. The cast steel is a steel casting process with carbon content less than 2%.

Pros and Cons of Cast Steel

The design flexibility is the main advantages of cast steel. The casting designer has the greatest freedom of design choices. The flexibility of cast steel allows for complex shapes and hollow
cross-section parts.

Cast steel has the metallurgy manufacturing flexibility and strongest variability. One can choose a different chemical composition and control that is adapted to the various requirements of different
projects. This offers different heat treatment choices in the larger context of the mechanical properties and performance. Also offering good weld-ability and workability.

Cast steel is a kind of isotropic material and can be made into the overall structural strength steel castings. This improves the reliability of the project. Coupled with the design and weight, the advantages of short delivery time, price and economy gives cast steel a competitive advantage.

The weight range of steel castings is larger. Little weight can be only a few dozen grams of molten mold precision castings. The weight of large steel castings goes up to several tons, dozens of tons or hundreds of tons.

Steel castings can be used for a variety of working conditions. Its mechanical properties are superior to any other casting alloys, and a variety of high-alloy steel for special purposes. To withstand
high tensile stress or dynamic load of components, it is important to consider pressure vessel castings. In low or high temperature, large and important part load key parts should give priority to
steel castings.

However, cast steel also has some disadvantages. For example, it has comparatively bad shake-suction, wear resistance and mobility. Besides, the casting performance, compared to cast iron, is not good. Also, the costs are higher than cast iron.

Cast Iron

cast iron

Cast iron mainly refers to gray iron, ductile iron and malleable iron. It is an iron casting process with carbon content more than 2%.

Pros and Cons of Cast Iron

Grey Iron: The grey cast iron has good vibration damping, good wear resistance, good machinability and low notch sensitivity. However, its tensile strength and elongation are very low. So, it can only produce some metal parts with low physical requirements. 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. As for the higher grades, grey cast iron can withstand greater load and a certain degree of tightness or corrosion resistance. This allows for some of the more important castings such as cylinder, gear, base, flywheels, bed, cylinder block, cylinder liner, piston, gear box, brake wheel, coupling plate, medium pressure valve, etc.

Ductile Iron & Malleable Iron: They have high strength, ductility and heat-resistance and toughness. So a wider application, in some cases, can replace the carbon steel. However, its production technology is high. The production process is more complex. This makes the production cost higher than normal grey cast iron and cast steel. Therefore, there are more casting defects for ductile iron. There are many fields that use ductile iron, such as pressure pipes and fittings, automotive applications, agriculture, road and construction applications and general engineering applications.

Cast Steel vs. Cast Iron

Strength
Both steel and iron have high strength. However, cast iron typically has a better compressive strength than cast steel.

Corrosion Resistance
Iron has a better resistance to corrosion than steel. That being said, both metals will oxidize and begin to fade away in the presence of moisture. As a result, steel is actually a better option when
seeking corrosion resistance because they are better at preventing oxidation.

Cost
While the cost for steel castings are initially more expensive than iron castings, they can end up being a more cost effective option when you consider long-term use and replacement costs.

If you are interested in using iron or steel castings for your next project, we can help. At CFS Foundry, we can produce both cast steel and cast iron parts. Get the highest quality cast parts delivered on time and at an affordable price by contacting us today!

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