Cast Iron

Cast iron, an alloy of iron containing 2 to 4 percent carbon. It’s made by reducing iron ore in a blast furnace. The liquid iron is cast, or poured and hardened, into crude ingots called pigs, and the pigs are subsequently re-melted along with scrap and alloying elements in cupola furnaces and recast into molds for producing a variety of products.

The Chinese produced cast iron as early as the 6th century BC. The first ironworks in America were established on the James River, Virginia, in 1619. Its load-bearing strength made it perfect for the foundation of America’s earliest skyscrapers.

Most cast iron is called gray iron or white iron. Gray iron contains more silicon and is less hard and more machinable than is white iron. 

Cast iron is used for:

  • Making pipes
  • Making machines
  • Automotive parts
  • Pots pans and utensils
  • And ship anchors.

Cast iron is ferrous.