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The paper presents influence of soaking parameters (temperature and time) on structure and mechanical properties of spheroidal graphite nickel-manganese-copper cast iron, containing: 7.2% Ni, 2.6% Mn and 2.4% Cu. Raw castings showed austenitic structure and relatively low hardness (150 HBW) guaranteeing their good machinability. Heat treatment consisted in soaking the castings within 400 to 600°C for 2 to 10 hours followed by air-cooling. In most cases, soaking caused changes in structure and, in consequence, an increase of hardness in comparison to raw castings. The highest hardness and tensile strength was obtained after soaking at 550°C for 6 hours. At the same time, decrease of the parameters related to plasticity of cast iron (elongation and impact strength) was observed. This resulted from the fact that, in these conditions, the largest fraction of fine-acicular ferrite with relatively high hardness (490 HV0.1) was created in the matrix. At lower temperatures and after shorter soaking times, hardness and tensile strength were lower because of smaller degree of austenite transformation. At higher temperatures and after longer soaking times, fine-dispersive ferrite was produced. That resulted in slightly lower material hardness.
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