This section is from the book "The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook", by Isaac Ridler Butt. Also available from Amazon: The Tinman's Manual And Builder's And Mechanic's Handbook.
It has been found, in the course of the experiment!) made by Mr. Hodg-kinson and Mr. Fairbairn, that the average strain that cast iron will bear in the way of tension, before breaking, is about seven tons and a half per square inch; the weakest, in the course of 1G trials on various descriptions, bearing 6 tons, and the strongest 9 3-4 tuns. The experiments of Telford and Brown show that malleable iron will bear, on an average, 27 tons; the weakest bearing 24, and the strongest 29 tons. On approaching the breaking point, cast iron may snap in an instant, without any previous symptom, while wrought iron begins to stretch, with half its breaking weight, and so continues to stretch till it breaks. The experiments of Hodgkinson and Fairbairn show also that cast iron is capable of sustaining compression to the extent of nearly 50 tons on the square inch; the weakest bearing 36 ½ tons, and the strongest 60 tons. In this respect, malleable iron is much inferior to cast iron. With 12 tons on the square inch it yields, contracts in length, and expands laterally; though it will bear 27 tons, or more, without actual fracture.
Rennie states that cast iron may be crushed with a weight of 93,000 lbs., and brick with one of 5G2 lbs. on the square inch.