The addition of 0.05–0.15% Al has a modifying effect on the microstructure of cast iron. Large graphite inclusions are formed with over 0.20% Al.
Changes in the microstructure of cast iron during thermal cycling at 850°C occur in five stages. These changes are accompanied by changes in density, hardness, and dimensions.
The change in density varies with the operating temperature — the cast iron in the inner zone of the wall of the mold grows and becomes less dense; the density of the outer zones increases, which increases the possibility of cracks being formed.
Alloying of cast iron with aluminum increases the resistance of ingot molds to crack formation and crazing (the optimal concentration is ∼0.87% Al).
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Shashkov, V.B., Nepomnyashchii, A.G., Shcherbilis, I.A. et al. Increasing the service life of ingot molds of cast iron alloyed with aluminum. Met Sci Heat Treat 17, 421–424 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00663223