The paper discusses the reasons for the current trend of substituting ductile iron castings by aluminum alloys castings. However, it has been shown that ductile iron is superior to aluminum alloys in many applications. In particular it has been demonstrated that is possible to produce thin wall wheel rim made of ductile iron without the development of chills, cold laps or misruns. In addition it has been shown that thin wall wheel rim made of ductile iron can have the same weight, and better mechanical properties, than their substitutes made of aluminum alloys.
The mathematical model of the globular eutectic solidification in 2D was designed. Proposed model is based on the Cellular Automaton Finite Differences (CA-FD) calculation method. Model has been used for studies of the primary austenite and of globular eutectic grains growth during the ductile iron solidification in the thin wall casting. Model takes into account, among other things, non-uniform temperature distribution in the casting wall cross-section, kinetics of the austenite and graphite grains nucleation, and non-equilibrium nature of the interphase boundary migration. Calculation of eutectic saturation influence (Sc = 0.9 - 1.1) on microstructure (austenite and graphite fraction, density of austenite and graphite grains) and temperature curves in 2 mm wall ductile iron casting has been done.