grey iron

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grey iron

Post by jeffsmith » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:25 am

How well does grey iron stand up on truck wheels? I think this has been discussed before but I am thinking of having more wheels cast and would like to get some opinions.

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Re: grey iron

Post by FLSTEAM » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:56 am

Depends on how much you are plan on running. Every day, once a week, once a month or once or twice a year. Steel will last longer but costs a lot more. The wheels on the Shay are showing little or no wear after 5 years. My guess is I will wear out before the wheels do.. :o)

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Re: grey iron

Post by Soot n' Cinders » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:17 pm

Have them cast in iron and then you could tire them using DOM steel tube once you’ve remachined worn treads to the point there’s not enough material left to return. That’s what I plan on doing with my shay.

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Re: grey iron

Post by jkimberln » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:00 pm

I agree with Tristan. Both of our RGS20 locos at GGLS have grooves worn into the cast iron wheels. I have put tires on one of the locos so far and will have to do the other one next summer, no doubt. I used DOM tubing from Speedy Metals. With about 0.009" interference, the tires just drop on when heated up to 500 deg F. Our locos get fairly heavy useage, though. So YMMV.

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Re: grey iron

Post by pat1027 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:58 pm

If it's trucks on a car they hold up fine. I've got a couple cars with 20+ years on them with iron wheels. If it's trucks on a locomotive I'd go steel.

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Re: grey iron

Post by jamesjgould » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:36 pm

Ductile (Nodular) cast iron costs only a few pennies more per pound and is just as easy to machine and chips are clean without all the iron dust like grey iron. And the big thing is, Ductile is far better wear resistant on all kinds of rail. Plus,
ductile will not chip and crack like grey. There really is no excuse for using grey iron anymore for wheels.
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Re: grey iron

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:57 pm

So here’s a basic question: how do you tell the difference between gray iron and ductile?

Anybody have photos?
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Re: grey iron

Post by Fender » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:28 pm

The castings look the same before machining. Gray iron chips look like 6’s and 9’s with a lot of black dust. Ductile makes nice long curls with less dust. Much nicer to machine.
One other difference is that the shrinkage from cooling in the mold is somewhat fussier with ductile. Depending on the casting shape, there is a greater tendency for voids to develop with ductile iron castings, unless remedies such as cores, feeders, etc. are employed when needed.
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Re: grey iron

Post by 10KPete » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:52 am

So where can ductile iron be purchased? Bar stock...

Just tryin'

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Re: grey iron

Post by nabob » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:34 am

EMJ has Durabar ------they have a location in Kent WA-----no idea as to stock.

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Re: grey iron

Post by BClemens » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:31 am

McMaster-Carr has both gray iron and ductile iron in billets up to 12" diameter.... It is oversized and is already pickled so there is very little scale. Nice stuff to machine.

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Re: grey iron

Post by Kimball McGinley » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:02 pm

Not yet mentioned was whether the majority of the running will be on aluminum or steel rail. Iron and steel wheels are not really bothered by aluminum rail. There have been many reports of iron wheels grooved by steel rail.

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