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Home > Tips and Facts > Understanding Cast Irons > Malleable Iron

Understanding Cast Irons - Malleable Iron

This type of iron is characterized by having the majority of its C content occur in the microstructure as irregularly shaped nodules of graphite. This form of graphite is called temper carbon because it is formed in the solid state during heat treatment. The iron is cast as a white iron of a suitable chemical composition.

After the castings are removed from the mold, they are given an extended heat treatment starting at a temperature above 1650°F (900°C). This causes the iron carbide to dissociate and the free carbon precipitates in the solid iron as graphite. The rapid solidification rate that is necessary to form the white iron limits the metal thickness in the casting that is practical for the malleable iron process.

A wide range of mechanical properties can be obtained in malleable iron by controlling the matrix structure around the graphite. Pearlitic and martensitic matrices are obtained both by rapid cooling through the critical temperature and with alloy additions. Malleable irons containing some combined carbon in the matrix often are referred to as pearlitic malleable, although the microstructure may be martensitic or a spheroidized pearlite.

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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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Understanding Cast Irons
  1. Introduction
  2. Gray Iron
  3. Ductile Iron
  4. Compacted Graphite Iron
  5. Malleable Iron
  6. White Iron
  7. High Alloy Irons