What are some properties of cast steel

Cast steel

Cast steel definition

DIN 10027 sees cast steel as a separate category and clearly excludes it from the other types of steel. Cast steel are types of steel that are processed directly: They are poured into their final form as a melt. Almost all common alloys can be used for steel casting, as most alloys have the necessary properties. This makes the exception seem confusing, as it is not a special type, but simply a different way of processing steel.

Differentiation between cast steel and cast iron

The difference between cast iron and cast steel lies in the carbon content. The carbon content of cast iron is usually over 2.06%. This distinguishes it from cast steel, the carbon content of which is always below this value.

Differentiation between cast steel and gray cast iron

Gray cast iron is also to be regarded as cast iron. However, the carbon in gray cast iron (= gray cast iron) is in the form of graphite. In white cast iron, on the other hand, the carbon is present as cementite (Fe3C). However, because of their high carbon content, gray and white cast iron are also to be regarded as cast iron.

Classification of cast steel

Like the other types of steel, cast steel can also be divided into high-alloy and low-alloy cast steel. The following alloy components are often found:

  • chrome
  • nickel
  • molybdenum
  • Vanadium and
  • tungsten

In addition, other elements also occur occasionally as alloy components. The quantitative composition of the alloy can vary greatly with individual types of cast steel.

Typical properties of cast steel

Because of the numerous possible alloys, the properties are also very different. Only the unalloyed cast steel grades have some similarities.

The manganese and silicon proportions are always very low in the unalloyed types (manganese no more than 1% by weight, silicon no more than 0.60%). The carbon content of unalloyed cast steel is a maximum of 0.5%. Its size largely determines the strength properties.

Cast steel is mechanically far superior to cast iron, is much easier to deform under load and - in contrast to cast iron - can also be welded. (This is not possible with cast iron due to the high carbon content). Cast steel is also forgeable.

Processing of cast steel

Cast steel is much more difficult to process than cast iron. The high melting point of iron (1,538 ° C) makes very high casting temperatures necessary. This is only possible with appropriately equipped furnaces, molds and crucibles that have to be able to withstand the required casting temperatures of around 1,600 ° C.

The melt is much more viscous than cast iron melt and therefore only fills molds very poorly and only incompletely in small areas. This means that molds often have to be reworked afterwards. The advantages of steel as a material (in contrast to cast iron) always outweigh these disadvantages.

The division of steels into different classes is a very complicated matter and often contradictory. It is best to follow the material numbers and look up the individual properties specifically according to the material number.