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Can someone give me some info on Ductile iron anvils please? I I read that they are a type of cast iron, does this mean it is pretty much a ASO with a different name? Do they make good anvils? Will they last a lifetime? Are they worth getting?  I just don't know much about them and looking for some information and pointers. 

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JHM Anvils are ductile iron. Their smaller ones are more geared towards farriers, but the Competitor (260#) is a beast and my primary anvil in my shop. Heres a video about them and how they are made...





Oh, by the way, I love this anvil and it has taken some heavy use with pattern welded billets and thick stock forging - Holding up very well. You wont be upset if you go JHM, just go with one of the heavier models more geared to blacksmithing.

post-27724-0-09411400-1408120138_thumb.j

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What I read awhile back told me that magnesium is fed or included in the mold, the burning of said magnesium almost "frothed" the iron, this causes the carbon to form spheres, instead of regular carbon flakes. It takes a tremendous amount of energy for cracks to jump from sphere to sphere, this isn't the case with the carbon flakes, another important part I can't accurately answer is it's harden-ability. Idk if that's attributed to the same frothing from the magnesium. This is the same nodular iron GM and other auto makers use to make crank shafts. You can run 500ish horsepower on the stock crank in a vortec 350, in fact my IROC-Z28 will be getting a 450 hp vortec 350 motor with said crank, just gotta finish building it :). I read that before buying my TFS, it was a dumbed down version I found somewhere. If I'm wrong correct me please, I'll never turn down a free education.

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What I read awhile back told me that magnesium is fed or included in the mold, the burning of said magnesium almost "frothed" the iron, this causes the carbon to form spheres, instead of regular carbon flakes. It takes a tremendous amount of energy for cracks to jump from sphere to sphere, this isn't the case with the carbon flakes, another important part I can't accurately answer is it's harden-ability. Idk if that's attributed to the same frothing from the magnesium. This is the same nodular iron GM and other auto makers use to make crank shafts. You can run 500ish horsepower on the stock crank in a vortec 350, in fact my IROC-Z28 will be getting a 450 hp vortec 350 motor with said crank, just gotta finish building it :). I read that before buying my TFS, it was a dumbed down version I found somewhere. If I'm wrong correct me please, I'll never turn down a free education.

No, you definitely described nodular iron and it's theory correctly. One great example of ductile iron in the metal shop is the Wilton vise, virtually unbreakable.

 

Ductile iron in it's lowest grade is stronger and harder than A-36; in it's highest grade and state of heat treatment is almost 4 times as strong and twice as hard as A-36. 

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