Cast iron is iron or a ferrous alloy which has been heated until it liquefies, and is then poured into a mould to solidify. It is usually made from pig iron. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through. Grey cast iron has graphite flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks.
Cast iron is made by re-melting pig iron, often along with substantial quantities of scrap iron, scrap steel, lime stone, carbon (coke) and taking various steps to remove undesirable contaminants. Phosphorus and sulfur may be burnt out of the molten iron, but this also burns out the carbon, which must be replaced. Depending on the application, carbon and silicon content are adjusted to the desired levels, which may be anywhere from 2–3.5% and 1–3%, respectively. Other elements like Nickel, Chrome are then added to the melt before the final form is produced by casting.