The Light Green Machine Institute

23 Mar 16: Can we just eliminate cast iron, please?
Way back about 1970, when I was in my second year of undergraduate engineering courses, I was required to take a couple of courses from the Metallurgical Department (all engineering disciplines took courses from other disciplines as part of the process of rounding you out as an engineer).

I remember the Professor teaching this course extolling the benefits of cast iron and the process of sand mould casting.  He talked about how easy and cheap it was.  And it was--when oil was $2.00 a barrel and there were no environmental regulations.  Of course, neither he nor us students quite realized that we were at the end of that era.

However, cast iron continues to be used.  We have been on the bandwagon to eliminate cast iron dryers forever here at the Light Green Machine Institute.  

However, let's take this further.  Where else can we eliminate cast iron?  Framing? Pumps? Traps?

Static cast iron is heavy and we have to build heavy foundations to support it.

Dynamic cast iron is heavy and dangerous--causing larger motors, starting torque (and braking) issues.

Cast iron is a poor heat transfer medium.

When I was a child, there were still some cast iron toys.  The next generation was made of tinplate.  Today's are high performance plastics (think Legos--a high performance plastic if there ever was one).

We would like to hear your thoughts on cast iron. Do you think it is time to eliminate it or can you come up with justifications for its continued use in certain applications?
We would like to hear from you. Please send an email to [email protected] 
with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line. 

As always, your comments will be appreciated.
Think light!


Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director




Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!

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