Machining of cast iron involves removing metal from the cast part, usually by cutting with a power-driven machine tool. This article discusses the factors that influence machinability, the methods used to evaluate machinability of cast irons, the effects of cast iron microstructure on cutting tool life, and the importance of as-cast surface integrity on the machining variation. It presents examples of cutting tool materials selection for different cast iron grades, and describes the effects of coolants on the machining of cast irons. A chart showing different cutting materials and cutting speed ranges for selected iron-carbon alloys is also presented. Different types of cutting tool wear observed during turning are schematically illustrated.
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