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OBJECTIVE

To observe microstructures of cast iron under optical microscope.


To identify the classification of cast iron according to the
characteristic of the microstructures obtained

APPARATUS AND SAMPLE

LIST OF SAMPLE
NO

NAME OF SAMPLES

THREE UNIDENTIFIED
SAMPLES OF CAST IRON

NO

NAME OF APPARATUS

OPTICAL MICROSCOPE

Grit paper size


180,240,320,400,600,
800 and Cloth for
polishing

THEORY
Cast iron are a class of ferrous alloys with carbon contents
between 3.0 and 4.5 wt% and small amounts of silicon. Cast iron
become completely liquid at temperature between 1150C and
1300C, which they are easily melted and able to cast. Cementite

(Fe3C) is a metastable compound and under certain conditions it


can be decomposed to form -ferrite and graphite according to
following reaction:
Fe3C 3Fe () + C (graphite)
TYPES OF CAST IRON
GRAY CAST IRON
Most widely used of all types of cast iron due to its reliability to
almost engineering and application. The carbon and silicon
content of this cast iron is between 2.5 and 4.0 wt% and 1.0 and
3.0 wt%. The graphite exists in the form of flakes, which are
surrounded by ferrite or pearlite matrix

NODULAR (DUCTILE) CAST IRON


Adding a small amount of magnesium or cerium to the gray cast
iron before casting can form graphite into nodules or sphere-like
particles. The matrix phase surrounding these particles is either
ferrite or pearlite depending on the heat treatment process

WHITE AND MALLEABLE CAST IRON


For cast iron which containing less than 1.0 wt% silicon and rapid
cooling rates, most of the carbon exist as cementite instead of
graphite. Heating white cast iron at temperature between 800C
and 900C for a prolonged time period and in neutral atmosphere
causes a decomposition of cementite to form clusters or rosettes
graphite surrounded by ferrite or pearlite matrix.
Discussion
I.

Identify the cast iron samples according to the characteristic of the


microstructures obtained.

II.

Differentiate between steel and cast iron with reference to their carbon
percentage and hardness.
-

III.

For steel, its carbon percentage is in the range 0.12% - 2.0% while
for the cast iron is greater than 2.0%. In spec of hardness, steel is
more harder than cast iron. This is due to it properties. Properties of
steel is that it is mild, harder to cast and has a relatively high
viscosity. The properties of cast iron is that it is brittle, more
damping and absorbs vibration and noises. In a molten form, cast
iron is sufficient enough to making casts of any kind, from
components of various machines to intricate shapes, such as cast
iron or wrought iron furniture or gates. It is slightly destructive upon
drilling, produces powder, and does not bend or dent because it is
very hard, but it breaks easily unlike steel. Steel produces chips if it
is grinded, and it is malleable

On the basis of microstructure, briefly explain why gray iron is brittle


and weak in tension.
-

IV.

For gray cast iron, the graphite exist in the form of flakes, which are
surrounded by ferrite or pearlite matrix. For nodular cast iron, the
graphite is nodules or sphere-like particles and the matrix phase
surrounded by either ferrite or pearlite. Finally, for white and
malleable cast iron, the graphite exist in form of clusters or rosettes
graphite surrounded by ferrite or pearlite matrix.

Based on the microstructure of gray cast iron, the graphite form


flakes, which is tiny flakes that tend to weaken the matrix structure
in tension. It tend to fail in diagonal shear.

Compare the cast iron observed with respect to (a) composition, (b)
microstructure, and (c) mechanical characteristic.
a) For grey cast iron, the composition is carbon 3.4%, Silicon 1.8%,
manganese 0.5%. For nodular cast iron, the composition is

7.0 Conclusion
As conclusion, the objectives of the experiment were successfully achieved.
The method of preparation of metallographic sample was understood. There

are 5 process need to be through by the specimen which are cutting,


mounting, grinding, polishing and finally etching.
Other than that, the basic function of optical microscope and it operation
also understood. The structure of the material can be observed with the aid
of optical microscope. The objective of the used and performed analysis from
the microstructure's observed also successfully achieved. The microstructure
of the sample obtain were gray cast iron, nodular cast iron, white and
malleable cast iron. We can identified observed microstructure based on
their graphite.

8.0 References
1) http://www.fonderielaroche.com/
2) http://practicalmaintenance.net/
3) www.metallographicequipment.com/
4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_iron