The aim of the present study was to improve the tensile properties of gray cast iron by reinforcing the material with a steel wire. The composite was produced by sand mold casting, and the specimens were normalized by applying heat treatments at 800 degrees C, 850 degrees C, and 900 degrees C. Tension tests were conducted on gray cast iron and composite specimens, and the microstructure of the specimens was examined with an optical microscope. The fracture surface of the tension test specimens was examined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and graphite-free transition regions with high degrees of hardness were observed due to the diffusion of carbon from the cast iron to the steel wire. The microstructure of the transition region (fine pearlitic phase with partially dissolved graphite flakes) and the bond quality in the transition region increased the tensile properties of cast iron composites. Also, it is concluded that the tensile properties of gray cast iron increased with an increase in the normalization temperature. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.