Compacted graphite iron, also known as vermicular cast iron or semiductile cast iron is a modern material, the production of which is increasing globaly. Recently this material has been very often used in automotive industry. This paper reviews some findigs gained during the development of the manufacturing technology of compacted graphite iron under the conditions in Slévárna Heunisch Brno, Ltd. The new technology assumes usage of cupola furnace for melting and is beeing developed for production of castings weighing up to 300 kilograms poured into bentonite sand moulds.
The paper presents the results of the research on the effect of copper on the crystallization process, microstructure and selected properties of the compacted graphite iron. Compacted graphite in cast iron was obtained using Inmold process. The study involved the cast iron containing copper at a concentration up to approximately 4%. The effect of copper on the temperature of the eutectic crystallization as well as the temperature of start and finish of the austenite transformation was given. It has been shown that copper increases the maximum temperature of the eutectic transformation approximately by 5C per 1% Cu, and the temperature of the this transformation finish approximately by 8C per 1% Cu. This element decreases the temperature of the austenite transformation start approximately by 5C per 1% Cu, and the finish of this transformation approximately by 6C per 1% Cu. It was found that in the microstructure of the compacted graphite iron containing about 3.8% Cu, there are still ferrite precipitations near the compacted graphite. The effect of copper on the hardness of cast iron and the pearlite microhardness was given. This stems from the high propensity to direct ferritization of this type of cast iron. It has been shown copper increases the hardness of compacted graphite iron both due to its pearlite forming action as well as because of the increase in the pearlite microhardness (up to approx. 3% Cu). The conducted studies have shown copper increases the hardness of the compacted graphite iron approximately by 35 HB per 1% Cu.
This paper shows how it is possible to obtain an ausferrite in compacted graphite iron (CGI) without heat treatment of castings. Vermicular graphite in cast iron was obtained using Inmold technology. Molybdenum was used as alloying additive at a concentration from 1.6 to 1.7% and copper at a concentration from 1 to 3%. It was shown that ausferrite could be obtained in CGI through the addition of molybdenum and copper in castings with a wall thickness of 3, 6, 12 and 24 mm. Thereby the expensive heat treatment of castings was eliminated. The investigation focuses on the influence of copper on the crystallization temperature of the graphite eutectic mixture in cast iron with the compacted graphite. It has been shown that copper increases the eutectic crystallization temperature in CGI. It presents how this element influences ausferrite microhardness as well as the hardness of the tested iron alloy. It has been shown that above-mentioned properties increases with increasing the copper concentration.
This article presents the methodology for exploratory analysis of data from microstructural studies of compacted graphite iron to gain knowledge about the factors favouring the formation of ausferrite. The studies led to the development of rules to evaluate the content of ausferrite based on the chemical composition. Data mining methods have been used to generate regression models such as boosted trees, random forest, and piecewise regression models. The development of a stepwise regression modelling process on the iteratively limited sets enabled, on the one hand, the improvement of forecasting precision and, on the other, acquisition of deeper knowledge about the ausferrite formation. Repeated examination of the significance of the effect of various factors in different regression models has allowed identification of the most important variables influencing the ausferrite content in different ranges of the parameters variability.