The wide variations in the structure of cast irons that may result from the presence of small amounts of certain elements are reviewed based on the information available in the literature. The effects of the more significant of these elements on the graphite and matrix structure in gray and ductile irons are presented. Primary emphasis has been placed on the effects that these elements exert on controlling nucleation and growth of graphite during solidification; nucleation of the austenitic dendrites and decomposition of the austenite is also discussed. gases hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen; the low ' 'melting tern perature metals, lead, bismuth, antimony and arsenic; sulfur and those elements which react with sulfur such as magnesium, cerium, strontium and titanium. The role of these elements in producing the various types of flake, spheroidal and degenerate graphite is discussed. The significant role of sulfur and oxygen in both nucleation and growth of eutectic graphite is described. The effect of antimony, tin, arsenic and other minor elements on producing a pearlitic matrix is rationalized.
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