Compacted graphite iron, also known as vermicular cast iron or semiductile cast iron is a modern material, the production of which is increasing globaly. Recently this material has been very often used in automotive industry. This paper reviews some findigs gained during the development of the manufacturing technology of compacted graphite iron under the conditions in Slévárna Heunisch Brno, Ltd. The new technology assumes usage of cupola furnace for melting and is beeing developed for production of castings weighing up to 300 kilograms poured into bentonite sand moulds.
Blast furnace and cupola furnace are furnace aggregates used for pig iron and cast iron production. Both furnace aggregates work on very similar principles: they use coke as the fuel, charge goes from the top to down, the gases flow against it, etc. Their construction is very similar (cupola furnace is usually much smaller) and the structures of pig iron and cast iron are very similar too. Small differences between cast iron and pig iron are only in carbon and silicon content. The slags from blast furnace and cupola furnace are very similar in chemical composition, but blast furnace slag has a very widespread use in civil engineering, primarily in road construction, concrete and cement production, and in other industries, but the cupola furnace slag utilization is minimal. The contribution analyzes identical and different properties of both kinds of slags, and attempts to explain the differences in their uses. They are compared by the contribution of the blast furnace slag cooled in water and on air, and cupola furnace slag cooled on air and granulated in water. Their chemical composition, basicity, hydraulicity, melting temperature and surface were compared to explain the differences in their utilization.
The author has developed and patented several types of gas cupola furnaces, which, due to replacing coke with gas, do not emit carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and coke dust. The author has defined the optimal modes of gas-and-air mixture combustion, i.e. the optimal coefficient of air discharge and gas mixture escape speed in melting cast iron. It has been experimentally proved that from the point of view of obtaining the maximum temperature, the optimal was the process with some lack of air, i.e. with α = 0.98. The results of metallurgical studies used in the article allowed to develop an optimal structure of the gas cupola furnace with a heterogeneous refractory filling, and to establish the optimal composition of the filling. For the first time the optimal composition of the filling is given: 40% of chamotte, 30% of high-alumina refractory, 30% of electrode scrap. It has been noted that when gas cupola furnaces were used, the main environmental advantage was the reduction of dust emission into the atmosphere, CO and SO2 content.