What are inoculants?

Inoculants are essential to avoid metallurgical defects in cast iron due to insufficient nucleation. Lishi Industrial offers an unrivaled range of high-quality inoculants, available worldwide, and our experts will help you select the most suitable inoculant for your application.


Inoculants: Improve nucleation in cast iron

Before the molten iron is poured, ferrosilicon-based inoculants are added to control the solidification process and thus provide the desired microstructure and mechanical properties in the iron casting. Inoculants work in two basic ways:

They increase the number of nucleation sites present before solidification, thus providing a more even distribution of graphite particles with the desired structure.

They minimize undercooling (“chilling”) of the melt below the metastable eutectic temperature, thus favoring the formation of graphite rather than cementite (iron carbide).

The inoculant is primarily added to the ladle or stream, but for some special applications it is better to add the inoculant directly into the mold as an inoculant block, called an insert.

The role of size and chemistry

Although inoculants have a small impact on production costs, it is crucial to choose them carefully because their properties have a huge impact on metallurgical quality.

Since 1999, Lishi Industrial has been a pioneer in developing custom inoculant specifications for the global cast iron industry. We continue to be at the forefront of customizing new chemistries and sizes to meet our customers’ needs.


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