Unlike gray iron, which contains graphite flakes, ductile iron has an as-cast structure containing graphite particles in the form of small, rounded, spheroidal nodules in a ductile metallic matrix. This article discusses the raw materials that are used for ductile iron production and outlines the most common and important requirements for controlling the composition of ductile iron. Treatment to produce ductile iron involves the addition of magnesium to change the form of the graphite, followed by or combined with inoculation of a silicon-containing material to ensure a graphitic structure with freedom from carbides. The article describes the methods of magnesium treatment, control of magnesium content, and inoculation. It concludes with a discussion on the metallurgical controls of ductile iron production.
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