Difference Between Steel and Cast Iron

Metals are in great demand not only in today’s world but ever since it was discovered in the first place. Different uses create a huge demand for metals such as steel and iron.


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Quartz crystals normally used in quartz clocks etc. is chemically

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The purpose of choke in tube light is?

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A bond that occurs between metals and nonmetals is called a/an _______________.

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We all know what and where they are used.

However, there is a huge difference between steel and cast iron.

Steel is much more expensive than iron, although it is created from impurities removed from iron itself. So, you can imagine that without iron, there is no steel.

Key Takeaways

  1. Steel is an alloy made from iron and carbon, while cast iron is a strong, brittle alloy made from iron, carbon, and silicon.
  2. Steel is more malleable and ductile than cast iron, which is more rigid and brittle.
  3. Steel is used in the construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries, while cast iron is used for cookware, pipes, and engine blocks.

Steel vs Cast Iron

The difference between steel and cast iron is the carbon content in them. Iron is an element, whereas steel is just a by-product of iron. Cast iron contains more than 2 per cent of carbon, whereas steel only has 0.1-0.5 per cent. You might know that the more carbon content, the higher the iron will be malleable.

Steel vs Cast Iron

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The presence of carbon in iron more than 4% makes cast iron, whereas steel contains less than 2% of carbon. So, the main distinction between these two is carbon’s presence.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSteelCast Iron
DefinitionSteel is called an alloy of iron.Cast iron is also an alloy of iron.
Presence of CarbonSteel has got less presence of carbon, approximately less than 2%.Cast iron has more than 2% of carbon, approximately 4%.
PropertiesDuctile and malleableThe random motion of molecules.
Form of CarbonIron carbideGraphite or iron carbide can be both.
Melting pointMore than cast ironLower than steel.
FluidityNo fluidityExcellent fluidity

What is Steel?

Steel is an alloy of iron. It has got a large number of uses in today’s world and is in huge demand too. You see, stainless steel is used in products like scissors, blades, and other utensils.

Steel’s carbon presence is very less, approximately less than 2%.

Surprisingly, steel is made from impurities or slag removed from iron itself. So, in other words, it means that without iron, you cannot have steel.

Steel is just an alloy, whereas iron is an element found abundantly in most rocks and can be found even on meteoroids.

There is a process of making steel, but iron is found naturally on Earth’s surface or in any other space.

However, you will be surprised that cast iron is cheaper than steel, with a shallow melting point.

As steel can be melted, it can be turned into any shape or form, and when it becomes cold, there is no shrinkage.

This is how several products and utensils are made using steel by melting them into several forms and shapes.

The presence of carbon in steel is less as compared to cast iron. Stainless steel is just another grade of steel where metals like chromium are added to get the result.

Steel’s properties also vary from cast iron’s because steel is much milder and harder to cast. Steel also has a high viscosity meaning (a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow).


What is Cast Iron?

On the other hand, cast iron is a group of iron and carbon alloys with a carbon content of more than 4%.

Iron is a hard metal and is found abundantly on Earth’s surface. Scientists have even found iron on meteoroids.

The presence of carbon is the main difference between cast iron and steel.

However, other than that, the properties of these two types of metals differ.

Cast iron is cheaper than steel, and the properties of iron are that they are brittle and can absorb vibrations and noises too.

Iron, when molten, could be cast into different forms by using the components of several machines to create more complicated shapes like cast iron gates.

However, iron can be destructive when they are drilled. It can produce power and does not bend due to its hardness.

Cast Iron

Main Differences Between Steel and Cast Iron

  1. The only huge difference between steel and cast iron is the presence of carbon.
  2. Steel has approximately less than 2% presence of carbon, whereas cast iron has more than 4% carbon.
  3. Cast iron is much more complex than steel.
  4. Steel has no fluidity, whereas cast iron is excellent fluidity.
  5. The melting point of steel is more than cast iron, and the melting of cast iron is less than steel.
  6. Iron is an element, whereas steel is just an alloy.
  7. Iron is abundant and can even be found in meteoroids, whereas steel is the scrap from iron.
Difference Between Steel and Cast Iron
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=6ZgvRtOvMvUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=steel+and+cast+iron&ots=10OOb9aYW-&sig=nl2qY9aodRyolCcQs4OSahpYxLs
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/corrosion/article-abstract/14/6/43/157351
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