Aleksandr Matveev | Dreamstime
Thiti Tangjitsangiem | Dreamstime
'Availability of new foundry sand is already becoming a challenge, along with the need of providing new solutions to waste management,” according to the director of a metallurgical research center.
Branimir Ritonja | Dreamstime
Automotive cast parts.
Seesea | Dreamstime
Fire photo
Jacek Sopotnicki | Dreamstime
With deoxidized base iron, carbon levels can be increased to 3.30% C and alloying can be completely or nearly eliminated at the same time.
Simone Neuhold / RHI Magnesita
Many refractory products are custom-developed and manufactured for particular applications, and also usually contaminated with material they have absorbed while lining furnaces or ladles, which makes the recycling process a challenge.

Analyzing Cast Iron Microstructures in Formation

Feb. 21, 2016
High-energy X-ray tomography looks deep into the material formation of cast iron.

A research program at U.S. DOE’s Argonne National Lab uses high-energy X-ray tomography to look into the material formation of cast iron

Foundries know much about the characteristics and behavior of cast iron, and how to modify it during melting and alloying, and how to handle it during casting. But, there is still much to learn about how cast structures solidify, and neither 2D imaging nor 3D analysis have been able to document the exact processing parameters that will produce the ideal properties for any specific cast iron application.

Finding an easier way to look deep into the material structure would help answer such questions, and researchers at U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are using synchrotron X-ray analysis to evaluate graphite microstructure. Three-dimensional imaging of the structure of graphite, its spatial arrangement in the alloy, and its phase connectivity are critical factors that determine the properties of cast iron.

"By understanding the structure, it will be possible to develop alloys with improved mechanical and thermal properties. This implies that for applications such as vehicle engine and engine components, one could use less material and reduce overall vehicle weight, which would translate into fuel savings," stated Dileep Singh, group leader of thermal-mechanical research at Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Transportation Research, and the study’s technical leader.

Read "High-Energy X-Rays Raise Possibilities for Engineering Microstructures" for more complete details of the research.