This article discusses the classification schemes for cast irons and describes the characteristics of major categories, including gray iron, white iron, ductile iron, compacted graphite iron, mottled iron, malleable iron, and austempered ductile iron. It also discusses some of the basic principles of cast iron metallurgy. When discussing the metallurgy of cast iron, the main factors of influence on the structure include chemical composition, cooling rate, liquid treatment, and heat treatment. In terms of commercial status, cast irons can be classified as common cast irons and special cast irons. Special cast irons differ from the common cast irons mainly in the higher content of alloying elements. Alloying elements can be added in common cast iron to enhance some mechanical properties. They influence both the graphitization potential and the structure and properties of the matrix.