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

Cast Iron Castings Terminology

One of the first things that can cause confusion when discussing cast iron, or attempting to source it, is the varied number of ways it can be described. Because of its age and wide geographical spread many terms, often local in nature, have grown up. Cast iron, grey cast iron, gray cast iron, flake graphite iron and flake graphite cast iron all refer to the same material. The term grey is used because of the colour of the fracture surface if a piece is broken.

– Flake Graphite Iron
– Flake Graphite Cast Iron
– Hematite
– Grey Cast Iron
– Cast Iron

Hematite can also be used and refers to cast iron with a specific application in castings subject to heating and cooling cycles or operating at elevated temperatures, such as forge furnace doors and arch plates. It is rather an old-fashioned term, referring to cast iron with a high carbon content (4%), a low silicon content (1.6%) and low impurities.

If molten cast iron is allowed to cool normally the carbon comes out of solution and forms flakes of graphite which run through the ferrite/pearlite matrix, hence the alternative term, flake graphite iron. These flakes are at the microscopic level, the ends of which form stress points in the cast iron. Cast irons typically contain 2-4 wt% of carbon with silicon at 1.8-2.4 wt% and a greater concentration of impurities than steels. The carbon equivalent (CE) of a cast iron helps to distinguish the grey irons which cool into a microstructure containing graphite and the white irons where the carbon is present mainly as cementite. The carbon equivalent is defined as: