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Metallographic techniques for ductile irons are similar to those for other cast irons but more difficult than for steels, because graphite retention is a challenging task. This article presents recommended procedures to prepare ductile irons. It discusses three contemporary approaches for preparing ductile cast iron specimens with a wide range of phases and constituents as well as variations in graphite morphologies. A wide variety of matrix microstructures can be obtained in ductile irons. Examples are presented using a variety of etchants. Control of the nodularity of graphite in ductile irons is critical to their performance. The article presents details concerning the characterization of the graphite nodules.

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George F. Vander Voort, Juan Asensio-Lozano, Metallography and Microstructures of Ductile Irons, Cast Iron Science and Technology, Vol 1A, ASM Handbook, Edited By Doru M. Stefanescu, ASM International, 2017, p 645–656,

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