Cast Iron vs Cast Steel – What’s the Difference

Cast Iron vs Cast Steel

Cast iron and cast steel are two of the most commonly used materials in the manufacturing industry. They have been used for different applications, from building structures to machinery parts. However, only some know the differences between the two materials. In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between cast iron and cast steel and which is the ideal material for your next project.

Difference Between Cast Iron and Cast Steel


One of the main differences between cast iron and cast steel is their composition. Cast iron contains mainly iron, carbon, and silicon, while cast steel contains iron, carbon, and varying amounts of other alloying elements such as chromium, nickel, and manganese. Cast iron is more brittle and less flexible than cast steel because of its high carbon content.


Cast iron is typically used for parts that require good wear resistance and high compressive strength. It’s also popularly used in cookware such as pans and pots due to its heat retention and even heat distribution properties. On the other hand, cast steel is used for applications that require high strength, toughness, and resistance to wear. Examples include engine parts, gears, and crankshafts.

Manufacturing Process

Cast iron and cast steel also differ in their manufacturing processes. Cast iron is produced by melting scrap iron, pig iron, and limestone in a furnace. The mixture is then poured into a mould and left to cool and solidify. On the other hand, cast steel is produced by melting steel scrap and adding other alloying elements before pouring it into a mould.


Another difference between cast iron and cast steel is their cost. Cast iron is cheaper than cast steel because it requires less energy to melt and cast. However, the cost of cast steel increases with the addition of alloying elements, which improve its properties and durability.


Cast iron and cast steel have different maintenance requirements. Cast iron is prone to rusting and requires frequent seasoning to maintain its non-stick surface. In contrast, cast steel is more rust-resistant and requires less maintenance. However, both materials require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity.


In conclusion, cast iron and cast steel have distinct differences, including their composition, uses, manufacturing process, cost, and maintenance requirements. When choosing between the two materials, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of your project to determine which material is best suited for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a durable and wear-resistant material or one that can withstand high compressive strength, understanding the differences between cast iron and cast steel can help you make the right decision.

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