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Home > Glossary of Foundry Terms > K

Glossary of Foundry Terms - K

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Symbol used in linear elastic fracture mechanics to describe the intensification of applied stress at the tip of a crack of known size and shape. At the onset of rapid crack propagation, the factor is call the critical stress-intensity factor (KIc) or fracture toughness. Various subscripts denote loading conditions or fracture toughness. Units are Mpa/mm or ksi/in.

K Factor

Tensile strength in pounds per square inch divided by the Brinell Hardness number. See BHN, Brinell Hardness.

Kahlbaum Iron

An iron of more than 99.975% purity, produced in Germany.

Kalling-Dommarfvet process

A desulfurizing process using powdered burnt iron.


The purest form of China clay consisting of silicate of aluminum.


Hydrated silicate of alumina represented by the formula Al2O3 · 2 SiO2 2 H2O. It is a white, pearly mineral, crystallizing in a monoclinic system in the form of small, hexagonal plates. Constituent of kaolin, white china clay, used for porcelain, etc.

Kappa Carbide

A carbide of iron (Fe23,C6) in which all or part of the iron may be replaced by chromium, molybdenum, and/or tungsten.

Kayser Hardness Test

A method for determining the true hardness of metals at high temperatures.

KC (Plane-stress fracture toughness)

The value of stress intensity at which crack propagation becomes rapid in sections thinner than those in which plane-strain conditions prevail. Units are MPa/m or ksi/in.

Kelvin Temperature Scale

One in which the unit of measurement equals that of the centigrade degree and according to which absolute zero is 0 degrees, equivalent to -273.16°C.


The width of a cut.

Keyhole Specimen

A type of notched impact test specimen which has a hole-and-slot notch shaped like a keyhole.

Kic (Plane-Strain Fracture Toughness)

The minimum value of KC. Represents the fracture toughness of a material independent of crack length, or loading system. Units are MPa/m or ksi/in.


Diatomaceous earth, a finely porous material used for thermal insulation to 1100°C (2012°F).

Killed Steel

Molten steel held in a ladle, furnace, or crucible (and usually treated with aluminum, silicon, or manganese) until more gas is evolved and the metal is perfectly quiet. See Crucible, Ladle.


An oven or furnace for burning, calcimining or drying a substance.

Kiln Marks

Irregularities on the surface of refractors caused by deformation under load during burning.


Lumber artificially dried in a specially designed enclosure or lumber kiln.

Kilovolt (kV)

Unit of electrical potential equal to 1,000 volts.

Kilovolts Constant Potential

The potential in kilovolts of a constant voltage generator.

Kilovolts Peak

The crest value of the potential wave in kilovolts. When only one half of the wave is used, the crest value is to be measured on this half of the wave.


A term sometimes used to represent a unit load of 1,000 pounds.


Graphite thrown out by liquid cast iron in cooling.

Kissing (Touching)

Gating with minimum metal left at casting breakoff point, having a gate just "kiss" the surface. See Gate.

Knock Out

To remove sand and casting from a flask.

Knock-Off Riser

Riser with a small attachment and can be knocked off with a hammer.

Knock-Out Pins

Small pins on die-casting machines, permanent molds, and shell-molding machined for ejection of castings, etc. See Ejector Pins.

Knoop Hardness Number (HK)

A number related to the applied load and to the projected area of a rhombic-based diamond indentor, with edge angles of 172 1/2° 30' and 130 1/2°.


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Atlas Foundry Company, Inc.
601 N. Henderson Avenue
Marion, IN 46952-3348
Telephone: (765) 662-2525 • Fax: (765) 662-2902
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