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Model Engineering Glossary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Cast Iron

Cast iron tends to be brittle, except for malleable cast irons. With its low melting point, good fluidity, castability, excellent machinability and wear resistance, cast irons have become an engineering material with a wide range of applications, including pipes, machine and car parts.

Iron (Fe) accounts for more than 95 %wt of the alloy material, while the main alloying elements are carbon (2.1 to 4 %wt) and silicon (1 to 3 %wt).


Material properties:
Density kg/m3 7000 to 7400
Modulus of elasticity E GPa 83 to 170
Modulus of elasticity G GPa 32 to 69
Poisson's ratio v 0.2 to 0.3
Note: These properties should be used for indication only as material properties vary from sample to sample.

A cast iron flywheel for a model engine.

Lathe Tools

Lathe tool angles for turning cast iron:

MaterialSide clearance Front clearance Side rake Back rake
Cast Iron108125

I always use Tungsten Carbide Tipped (TCT) lathe tools when turning cast iron.

We reviewed the Glanze TCT tools.

These tools have a steel body with separate TCT bits that are pre-machined to the correct angles. When the bit wears out or gets chipped then you just replace it.

Note that when machining rough castings it is very easy to chip the tools, so take that into account and use small cuts at first.


Thread Cutting

WD40 is an excellant lubrication for threading cast iron. It prevents tearing of the material as the thread is produced.

See also: Lathe Tools.



Model Engineering Glossary: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z