Oxy-Acetylene Welding and Cutting Electric, Forge and Thermit Welding together with related methods and materials used in metal working and the oxygen process for removal of carbon
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METALS AND THEIR ALLOYS—HEAT TREATMENT
Iron.—Iron, in its pure state, is a soft, white, easily worked metal. It is the most important of all the metallic elements, and is, next to aluminum, the commonest metal found in the earth.
Mechanically speaking, we have three kinds of iron: wrought iron, cast iron and steel. Wrought iron is very nearly pure iron; cast iron contains carbon and silicon, also chemical impurities; and steel contains a definite proportion of carbon, but in smaller quantities than cast iron.
Pure iron is never obtained commercially, the metal always being mixed with various proportions of carbon, silicon, sulphur, phosphorus, and other elements, making it more or less suitable for different purposes. Iron is magnetic to the extent that it is attracted by magnets, but it does not retain magnetism itself, as does steel. Iron forms, with other elements, many important combinations, such as its alloys, oxides, and sulphates.
[Illustration: Figure 1.—Section Through a Blast Furnace]
Cast Iron.—Metallic iron is separated from iron ore in the blast furnace (Figure 1), and when allowed to run into moulds is called cast iron. This form is used for engine cylinders and pistons, for brackets, covers, housings and at any point where its brittleness is not objectionable. Good cast iron breaks with a gray fracture, is free from blowholes or roughness, and is easily machined, drilled, etc. Cast iron is slightly lighter than steel, melts at about 2,400 degrees in practice, is about one-eighth as good an electrical conductor as copper and has a tensile strength of 13,000 to 30,000 pounds per square inch. Its compressive strength, or resistance to crushing, is very great. It has excellent wearing qualities and is not easily warped and deformed by heat. Chilled iron is cast into a metal mould so that the outside is cooled quickly, making the surface very hard and difficult to cut and giving great resistance to wear. It is used for making cheap gear wheels and parts that must withstand surface friction.
Malleable Cast Iron.—This is often called simply malleable iron. It is a form of cast iron obtained by removing much of the carbon from cast iron, making it softer and less brittle. It has a tensile strength of 25,000 to 45,000 pounds per square inch, is easily machined, will stand a small amount of bending at a low red heat and is used chiefly in making brackets, fittings and supports where low cost is of considerable importance. It is often used in cheap constructions in place of steel forgings. The greatest strength of a malleable casting, like a steel forging, is in the surface, therefore but little machining should be done.
Wrought Iron.—This grade is made by treating the cast iron to remove almost all of the carbon, silicon, phosphorus, sulphur, manganese and other impurities. This process leaves a small amount of the slag from the ore mixed with the wrought iron.
Wrought iron is used for making bars to be machined into various parts....