Important Message

Dear Customer,

After 123 years of trading, Charles Butcher and Co Ltd, and its operating company, Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd, are ceasing trading. This has not been an easy decision but the board believes that it is the right time to do so and is in the best interests of the shareholders. This is a planned closure and the companies are wholly solvent.

Current orders will be honoured but we will be unable, unless specifically agreed, to take on any new work.

To enable the closure to happen as smoothly as possible, we have entered into an agreement to try and transfer work to Canlin Castings Ltd. They are a similar foundry to Durham Foundry offering the same range of material grades, quantities and weights. Their details are:-

Canlin Castings Ltd,
North Street,
Langley Mill,
NG16 4DF

Tel: 01773 715412

The contact there, to discuss how work may be transferred, is David Carlin who can be contacted at

If you wish to discuss anything regarding the closure, please contact me on 0114 249 4977 or email me at

Mike Naylor
Chairman and Managing Director
Charles Butcher and Co Ltd and Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd

Durham Foundry Logo
ISOQAR Registered & UKAS Management Systems

Certificate Number 8140

ISO 9001 | ISO 14001

Compacted (Vermicular) Graphite Iron Castings


Compacted (vermicular) Graphite Iron is a form of cast iron that mixes some of the beneficial properties of grey iron and ductile iron to produce a material that is neither a grey iron or a fully ductile iron but can be described as a “half way house” between the two. In grey iron the free graphite forms as thin flakes which run through the ferrite/perlite matrix, hence the alternative name of flake graphite iron.

These flakes give excellent heat transfer characteristics particularly with repeated heating and cooling cycles. However, because the flakes end in sharp points which act as stress raisers and crack propagation sites, flake graphite iron is a brittle material, excellent under compression but of limited use in tension or under shock loading. In ductile cast iron the graphite forms in small spheres (giving the alternative name of spheroidal graphite iron) which act as crack arresters thus giving rise to a ductile material.

Ductile iron is therefore an excellent material under both compression and tension but because it doesn’t have a lattice work of heat conducting graphite running through it lacks the heat transfer properties of a flake graphite iron. Chemically, flake graphite and ductile iron are very similar, the difference in graphite shape being achieved by treating the molten iron with magnesium so that the graphite solidifies as spheres rather than flakes.

In Compacted Graphite Iron the graphite forms a flake with rounded ends which look “worm like” under a microscope. This achieves two things. Firstly it removes the sharp stress and crack propagation points of the normal graphite flake leading to a ductile rather than a brittle material and secondly, because there is still a lattice like structure of graphite running through the matrix, it retains heat transfer properties similar to a grey iron.

Mechanical Properties Of The CGI Grades In ISO 16112

Material/Designation Tensile Strength (N/mm2) Proof Stress (N/mm2) Elongation % Typical Brinell 
Range HBW 10/30
ISO 16112/JV/300/S 350 210 22 140 – 210
ISO 16112/JV/350/S 400 245 18 160 – 220
ISO 16112/JV/400/S 400 280 15 180 – 240
ISO 16112/JV/450/S 450 315 10 200 – 250
ISO 16112/JV/500/S 500 350 7 220 – 260

Mechanical and Physical Properties of CGI in comparison to conventional grey cast iron at 20°C

Property CGI ISO
Grey Iron
ISO 185/JL/250
Grey Iron
ISO 185/JL/300
Ultimate Tensile Strength (MPa) 450 250 300
Elastic Modulus (GPa) 145 105 115
Elongation (%) 1.0 0 0
Rotating-Bending Fatigue 20C (MPa) 210 110 125
Rotating-Bending Fatigue 225C (Mpa) 205 100 120
Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K) 36 46 39
Thermal Expansion (microm-m-K) 12 12 12
Brinell Hardness (BHW 10/30) 200 – 250 190 – 225 215 – 255


We make CGI to ISO 16112:2006. However, due to the international nature of the material, buyers may find other descriptions and standards on drawings which can cause confusion. All of the following terms can be used to describe this material:-

  • CGI
  • GJV
  • VG
  • JV
  • GGV
  • Compacted Graphite Iron
  • Vermicular Cast Iron

There are also other standards, usually national or industry specific, which can be used to specify CGI such as ASTM A842-85, and SAE J1887 JUL2002. This list is not exhaustive and if you have a casting that you think is made in CGI and you’re not sure, ring us and we will try to determine if it is.



The first commercial application for compacted graphite iron was for the brake discs for high speed rail trains. More recently compacted graphite iron has been used for diesel engine blocks. It has proven to be useful in the manufacture of V topology diesel engines where the loading on the block is very high between the cylinder banks, and for heavy goods vehicles which use diesel engines with high combustion pressures. It is also used for turbo housings and exhaust manifolds, in the latter case to reduce corrosion. Because of the increased tensile strength of compacted graphite iron compared to grey iron, thinner castings can be used thus reducing weight.