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Pig Iron

Home > Scrap General > Scrap Metal Commodities Reference - P > Pig Iron

Pig Iron

This is a crude form of iron which, after smelting from its ore, has been allowed to run off into channels and moulds to solidify in the form of ingots or "pigs" of about 3 foot long and 3 - 4 inches thick. It is of varied composition, a typical grade of pig iron containing, in addition to iron, about 4% of carbon and 2% of silicon together with smaller amounts of sulphur, manganese and phosphorus. Some of this carbon is combined with the iron, some of it is merely dissolved in the iron. If much of the carbon is combined, the metal has a light appearance and is known as White Pig Iron. If the majority of the carbon is merely dissolved or "free," the metal appears grey and is known as "Grey Pig Iron." Intermediate types are known as "Mottled Pig Iron."
Pig iron is not malleable or ductile. It cannot be worked or welded. It can only be used for the production of castings. Hence its well-known name "cast iron."
Pig or cast iron forms the starting point for the manufacture of wrought iron and the various steels. It has a relatively low melting point (1200 deg C).



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