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The differences of iron foundries and steel foundries in China

In the past, one of our clients asked about the differences of iron foundries and steel foundries in China, herein, I made a brief introduction about this issue, and hope this could be helpful for other metal casting purchasers.

Firstly, both iron and steel foundries are the metal foundries, and they use the similar casting process such as melting pig iron and steel scarps, and then pour the hot liquid metal into casting molds, then after cooling, get the designed metal castings, but they use the different materials, equipments, heat treatment and have different machining capability.

1. Material differences

Iron foundries usually use pig iron, iron and steel scraps as the main materials, and need to add the nolularizing agents when producing ductile iron, nodular iron.

Steel foundries usually use some pig iron specifically for cast steel, and mainly steel scraps. As for the alloy steels, the steel foundries need to add the alloys.

2. Molding materials

Iron foundries usually use green sand, resin sand and pre-coated resin sand as the molding materials, but steel foundries will use the dry sand with water glass, wax and water glass or silica sol as the molding materials.

3. Main equipments

In China, some iron foundries are still using cupola furnace as the melting equipment. Most of iron foundries use the electric furnaces, but almost all steel foundries are using electric furnaces.

Some iron foundries have molding machines or automatic molding machines to enhance the production rate, but steel foundries are still using the manual floor molding process.

4. Heat treatment

Most of steel foundries in China have the heat treatment equipments, especially using electric furnaces to do the heat treatment, but iron foundries normally do not have heat treatment equipments since normal iron castings do not need the heat treatment.

5. Machining capability

Since iron castings usually have larger annual demand, so most of Chinese iron foundries have the capability of machining in-house. However, most steel foundries can not do the machining or just could do the rough machining in-house.

All these differences are due to the different annual demand, the production characters and technical requirements of iron and steel castings. In the past years, there are large improvement for the metal foundries in China, so there are many metal foundries in China, who have advanced casting processes and strong machining capability. Moreover, some foundries could even produce the metal patterns in-house.

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