Poster Project

Materials/Structure Performance

Gray Cast Iron in Rotors/Disc Ima Panther

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Bibliography Callister, William D. “10 & 11.” Materials Science and

Engineering: An Introduction 8e. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 369+. Print.

Ihm, Mark. “Cast Iron Properties.” Cast Iron Properties. In, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Properties of Gray Cast-Iron

• Wear resistant – able to break down which is used for the needed friction

• High heat capacity – resists warping • Strong under compression – needed when

under strong compressive force of brake


• Weak & Brittle under tension – rotor is not put in tension from brake pads

Structure of Rotor

• The rotor itself is hollow & has drilled holes to get rid of mass

• The holes also helps the removal of dust & water

• The holes also help in heat dissipation of rotors



• In order to reach the needed pearlite phase, the gray cast iron must be cooled at

a very slow cooling rate.

• Using the continuous cooling transformation diagram for a eutectoid

iron-carbon alloy shows that cooling rate

for the gray cast iron must have a 35

°C/s or even slower cooling rate

• The slower the solidification/cooling rate aids the carbon to diffuse and accumulate

into graphite

High Carbon Gray Cast-Iron

• 2.5-4.0wt% C • 1.0-3.0wt% Si

• The addition of silicon helps produce graphite

• Silicon is the stabilizing element in producing graphite instead of cementite

which makes it hard & brittle

Microstructure of Cast Iron observed in

Metallography lab

• Graphite nodules (addition of Mg) – reduces the area of stress concentrations in

the metal matrix which leads to a better


A simple disc brake system functions as


1. Press the pedal

2. Hydraulic system compresses brake fluid

to a high pressure

3. The pressure pushes the piston in the


4. Piston forces brake pads to clamp down

on rotor

5. Friction between the rotor & brake pads

causes the rotor to stop

Material Demands on a Disc Brake/Rotor

• Surface must be hard enough to withstand friction

• Resist warping due to high temperatures – an immense amount of friction from the

brake pads will cause a lot of heat

• Needs to hold up to the compressive force/clamping of the brake pads

Objective To describe why gray cast iron is used for

rotors on a vehicle by showing its

structure, how the structure is formed

through processing, and how the

properties also effect its performance.


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