Light micrograph of cast iron

Light micrograph of cast iron

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Caption: Light micrograph of cast iron. Steel & cast iron are made by adding small amounts of carbon to iron. When the carbon level is greater than 4%, discrete flakes or particles of carbon are formed & the steel is classed as cast iron. This specimen is a "grey cast iron" which contains its excess carbon as graphite flakes (blue). The flakes aid damping against vibration, make machining easier, & absorb shrinkage stresses as the casting solidifies. The orange background is pearlite; the deeper orange at centre is ferrite containing tiny particles of iron phosphide. (Polished section, Nital etch, ferric oxide coating). Magnification: x200 at 35mm size, x440 at 6x9cm size. Ref: MICROCOSMOS, fig. 7.35, page 143

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Keywords: alloy, cast iron, chemical, chemistry, compound, compounds, ferrite, graphite, grey, grey cast iron, pearlite

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