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Different types of Iron and its material properties


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This article deals with overview with sufficient details of different types of Iron. Types of iron like wrought iron, white cast iron, grey cast iron, malleable cast iron and nodular cast iron. Each iron is classified based on its physical and chemical properties with respect to carbon percentage and its application.



In everyday life, we often see many types of structures made up of iron and its alloy. This article shows you how many types of Iron engineers are using in applications based on its properties and suitabilities.
Different types of Iron and its material properties

Pig Iron and its properties:


  • Pig Iron is a basic raw material for all irons and produced from blast furnace.

  • It contains Carbon Percentage equal to 3-4%

  • Pig Iron from ore contains three basic forms of Iron
    1. Cast iron (Made from Cupola furnace)
    2. Wrought Iron (Made from Pudding furnace)
    3. Steel (Made from Bessemer converter)

  • Wrought Iron and its properties:


  • Wrought Iron is a mechanical mixture of pure iron and silicate slag

  • Its Carbon Percentage is 0.02% to 0.03%

  • Wrought Iron is never cast

  • Wrought Iron is having high ductile, corrosion resistant, fatigue resistant

  • It is having Tensile strength: 3380-3500 kg per square centimeter and 2530-2670 kg per square centimeter in transverse direction

  • Wrought Iron's melting point: 1510 degree C, Weight – 7680 kg per meter cube.

  • Wrought Iron's Poisson's ratio: 0.3

  • Malleable Cast Iron and its properties:


  • Malleable Cast Iron is obtained from hard &brittle white iron., through a controlled heat treatment conversion process.

  • Malleable Cast Iron is having Carbon % : 2 to 3 %

  • Malleable Cast Iron having material properties like High yield strength, ease of machinability, corrosion resistance and high young modulus

  • It is having Low coefficient of thermal expansion and high wear resistance & damping vibration.

  • Shrinkage Allowance for this Iron is 1.5 mm / 100mm

  • Malleable Cast Iron is used to make Crank-shaft, rail road, universal joint etc.

  • Nodular cast iron (Ductile cast iron) and its properties:


  • Nodular cast Iron contains Carbon % : 3.2 % & 4.2 %

  • Nodular cast Iron is having damping capacity intermediate between cast iron & steel.

  • This iron is also having high wear resistance

  • Application: Pump compressor, valve, i.c engines, pipe, paper industry, earth moving machinery.

  • Grey cast iron and its properties:


  • Grey Cast Iron is an alloy of Carbon & silicon with iron.

  • Carbon percentage of Grey Cast Iron: 2.5 to 3.8 %

  • Grey cast iron is having Self damping, good antifriction properties and also having lowest melting point.

  • Applications of Grey Cast Iron : Machine tool structure, manhole covers , piston rings, rolling mill. Water pipes.

  • White cast iron and its properties:


  • Carbon Percentage of White Cast Iron : 1.8 % to 3.6 %

  • White cast Iron is not machinable

  • Shrinkage allowance for this type of Cast Iron is 1 mm/ 100 mm.

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    Responses to "Different types of Iron and its material properties"
    Guest Author: Ashwani Ranjan     28 Sep 2014
    It was quite helpful to understand basic iron types.


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