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The Principles of Ductile Iron Casting Design

Casting design will be discussed insofar as Ductile Iron is concerned. Presenting general rules would reach beyond the scope of this work. There are reference books available that deal with Casting Design.

Familiarizing oneself with the advantages of designing with Ductile Iron helps not only to achieve engineering elegance (uniform stress-flow, optimum economy) but also helps the designer to decide when the use of Ductile Iron is preferable to an alternative material. In this regard, then, design characteristics may be considered to be one of the technological properties of this material.

Principle No. 1

Utilize the Freedom Offered by the Casting Process.

The purpose of design is to achieve functional performance of a part at minimum cost in materials and manufacture. An individual design is usually a compromise between an engineering concept to satisfy

specific service requirements and a form suitable for high quality, low cost production.

Casting as opposed to stamping, forging or welding, is the most universally practicable method of metal forming and offers great freedom in creating the shape of the part to be designed. Complex curves and ribs or bosses may be combined with little process restriction. The ability, for instance to cast pump and turbine casing involutes to their desired shape eliminates an almost impossible machining operation. The combination of two or more components into a single casting can dramatically reduce cost and improve performance.

Courtesy: TMF, Republic of South Africa

Ductile Iron tram wheels for underground mining operations, shown "as-shaken-out". Machining time was reduced to 1/8 that of the previous material, cast steel, while safety in service increased.

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