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Ductile cast iron

Saint-Gobain PAM

Ductile cast iron

The term 'cast iron' covers a wide variety of iron, carbon and silica alloys.  Discovered in the 1940s, ductile cast iron is produced thanks to the addition of a small amount of magnesium to the molten grey cast iron. This process gives it exceptional properties in terms of mechanical resistance and bending.

Ductile cast iron is a real technological innovation.

Grey cast iron

The resistance and durability of grey cast iron, the material used before the advent of ductile cast iron, are widely known : in 1664 France's King Louis XIV had a network of grey cast iron pipes built to transport water from the Marly-­sur-­Seine pumping station to the water fountains and in the town of Versailles. These pipes have been in service for more than 330 years.
A micrographic observation of grey cast iron reveals that the carbon crystallizes in the form of long, narrow graphite flakes. These encourage a concentration of constraints, which are potential sources of the onset of cracks when the material is subjected to traction stresses.

The discovery of ductile cast iron

In 1943, a major discovery was made : the  introduction of a small amount of magnesium into the grey cast iron caused the carbon to no longer crystallize in the form of flakes but in graphite spheres. A new material was born : ductile cast iron. Spheroidal graphite confers on cast iron exceptional mechanical properties : very high yield strength and also great resistance to traction and impacts. These qualities are indispensable for the installation of drinking water and sewerage conveyance networks.
A small bar of twisted ductile cast iron with astonishing properties was imported from the U.S. in 1949 by Jean CAVALLIER, a member of the family that founded Pont-­à-­Mousson. The ductile cast iron manufacturing process was industrialized in 1960.


Macro view of ductile iron
Saint-Gobain PAM - plants in France - ductile iron pipes
Foundrymen at Saint-Gobain PAM
Ductile iron pipe manufacturing process - Saint-Gobain PAM
Ductile iron pipe manufacturing

See also

Ductile iron is distinguished from ordinary grey iron by its remarkable mechanical properties.
As a world leader for comprehensive pipeline solutions in ductile iron, Saint-Gobain PAM designs, produces and markets a full range of water transport solutions.
From its creation to the present day, what has set Saint-Gobain PAM apart from the rest is its capacity to create products that respect the quality of water.