franco b wrote:
LsFarm wrote:The ONLY reason that cast iron was used 'back in the day' was because that was all that was available that was inexpensive..
Steel used to be very expensive.. now that it's mass produced, and the labor to use cast iron is expensive, cast iron is expensive to make parts from.
Cast iron was used because it is the best material for stove or boiler. It resists the corrosive effects of heat better than almost anything else. Look at all the Cannon heaters that were frequently heated red hot and still survive. Steel has been mass produced for over 100 years.It was mainly used in cheap stoves.
Yes cast iron is expensive today because of the many restrictions on foundry's. Quality machine tools are all cast iron. The best boilers where complex flue passages are desired are still cast iron. Steel works best where a simple configuration is desired and it can be protected from heat by fire brick. I doubt that many antique stoves cracked from heat but more likely from careless handling which in many cases had very thin castings, especially in some of the ornate antiques. Cast iron is still used on the doors of most stoves because it is the best material and lends itself to a bit of styling better than steel.
Nope, cast iron was used becuase it was cheap. hundreds, maybe thousands of casting businesses.. I've owned dozens of cast iron parlor stoves.. from all over the place,, seems virtually every town had a blacksmith that could cast iron parts..
But cast does NOT make a good flat panel for a stove. Flat gives it problems of expansion.. the cannon heater you described is round,, so the expansion was more even, and controled. The flat panels will expand unevenly and crack,, I've passed up dozens of cracked stoves for sale.
How many steel box stoves are in the scrap pile behind the stove shops?? Not many,, How many cast iron stoves?? mountains of them..
Steel stoves do hold up just fine to the heat of fires. if overfired, a piece can be safely cut out and replaced,, you can't do that with cast iron.. just throw the stove away unless you want to pay more than the stove is worth to recast a panel.. and have the risk of yet another crack developing.
NOPE.. Mulit section boilers??? Cast is wonderful?? nope,, they corrode away from the inside or at the connections , and if you run one low on water, it cracks..
A steel boiler?? takes that abuse in stride..
Grates are the only good place for cast,, heavy, simple and as long as the ashpan is emptied and the ash doesn't touch and insulate the grate from the cooling incoming air, then they will last a long time with a hot fire right on top of them.. but that's the only real place to use cast.. anyplace else is a gamgle.