These are metals that contain mainly ferrite or iron.
They sometimes have small amounts of other substances added to them to enhance their properties.
Ferrous metals will rust and are magnetic.
There are two types of cast iron:
- White cast iron - Hard and brittle so hard to work with.
- Grey cast iron - Most useful one.
It can be cast into intricate shapes. Often used for components on machines, eg tail stocks on lathes. It can be machined. When compared to steel, it is relatively corrosion reistant.
Has a high thermal conductivity, so ideal for cookware and bracking systems in cars.
However, it is brittle and almost impossible to weld.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon.
The more carbon added to the iron, the harder it is. Mild Steel has the carbon content of between 0.15% - 0.30%
This material is very versatile with many engineering applications. It is easy to work, it can be cut, heated into shape, machined, hammered ect. But apart from case hardening, it cannot be heat treated,
It rusts due to the iron becoming oxidised. By painting it though, you can prevent rusting (as it blocks the oxygen in air from the steel). Youcan also do this by using the method of galvanisation, where a layer of zinc is put over steel; or plastic coating with thermoplastic melted on steel.
There are various types eg. medium carbon steels and high carbon steels.
As more carbon is added to the steel, the properties change and their applicants vary.
But it can be heat treated to alter its properties.
Medium Carbon Steel: used for garden tools
High Carbon Steel: used in harder products, eg hammer heads, cutting tools and drills.
Carbon Steel is used in many manufacturing applications.
It is very versatile as it can be cut, shaped and machined.
It rusts though unless it is painted or glavanised.