- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 Nov 2020
The term 'cast iron' refers to a range of iron-carbon alloys, with a carbon content that is typically between 2 and 4%. During the Industrial Revolution, before the widespread development of the steel industry, cast iron was commonly used in a wide range of architectural applications because of to its relative affordability.
Cast iron is manufactured by re-melting pig iron along with quantities of limestone, silicon and carbon (and sometimes scrap steel). Traditionally, cast iron is melted in a blast furnace known as a cupola, but it can also melted in electric induction furnaces or arc furnaces. The molten cast iron is then poured into a holding furnace or ladle ready for casting (that is, being poured into a mould, and allowed to cool).
The advantages of using cast iron derive from its relatively low melting temperature, which increases its usability, and its good compression strength. However, it is weak in tension and bending, and will fracture before it bends or distorts. It also loses strength and stiffness when subjected to high heat.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Conservation of Architectural Ironwork.
- Difference between cast iron and wrought iron.
- Failure of cast iron beams.
- Galvanised steel.
- Investment casting.
- Metal fabrication.
- Stainless steel.
- Structural steelwork.
- The Iron Bridge.
- Weathering steel.
- Wrought iron.
Featured articles and news
A review of the HES pilot project.
Organisation alerts membership to findings of IHBC research.
Four outstanding professionals recognised.
Sustainable flooring from super strong grass.
Organisation presents reactions from industry leaders.
New infrastructure bank to be based in the North of England.
Fairer, faster, greener. A summary of the key points.
Strategies to help provide safer working conditions.
Protecting flora, fauna and the other natural features of Scotland.
Architecture considered somewhere between 'sublime and beautiful'.
Polish piano factory revived through an energy-oriented tune up.
Dynamic architectural approach sets out to restore and improve the environment.
Entries accepted from 1 December 2020 to 14 April 2021.