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The properties of cast iron are determined primarily by the form of carbon they contain, which in turn, is controlled by modifying compositions and cooling rates during casting. Certain alloys (such as Si, Al, Ni, Co, and Cu) promote graphite formation, while others (such as S, V, Cr, Sn, Mo, and Mn) promote the formation of cementite. This chapter examines the relative potencies of these alloys and their effect on microstructure. It covers the five most common commercial cast irons, including white, gray, ductile, malleable, and compacted graphite, describing their compositional ranges, distinguishing features, advantages, limitations, and applications.

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