Faux cast iron means a tool or interior decoration that is designed to either look like cast iron or to serve a similar function without the weight or the iron. Mimicry is used in dishes and even cooking utensils. One might wonder why someone would use a fake cast iron frying pan whenever the real thing does a good job. It could be that the fake has different cooking properties such as a permanent nonstick surface.
Cast iron can be difficult to deal with. Since it is not steel, it tends to rust faster than most other metal implements. Since it was not forged, it lacks the resilience of hammered iron as well as the smoothness of a machined surface. Straight cast iron tends to have a lumpy surface that will hold a coating better but otherwise is unsuitable as a nonstick surface. Cast iron decorations need to be painted and then eventually cleaned due to inevitable deterioration.
Modern materials can be strong and light but still, have excellent thermal properties. If a synthetic material is used in cookware, then it might mimic the appearance of more familiar materials, such as porcelain and cast iron, in order to increase its appeal. Cast iron is known as excellent for both frying and baking, but some modern materials can have similar benefits without the weight or need for frequent reconditioning.
Faux cast iron is generally lighter than authentic dishes but still have properties consistent with their use. Another example might be a high-temperature plastic that can contain hot soup or a steak but has the appearance of a cast-iron dish. A material that is able to endure high temperatures is called melamine. It is mixed with other agents to create a hard product that is durable enough to cook with.
Another material ideal for imitating iron is cold forge products. This just means that metal dust is mixed with a hard setting glue and is then inserted into a mold to create the appearance of a cast object. These ornaments are not as strong as regular metal but are strong enough to serve an ornamental purpose. They have the weight and appearance of solid metal but are much cheaper to turn into a given shape.
Even better, a metal powder mixed with resin is far less likely to rust. Individual metal particles are surrounded by a watertight polymer that inhibits oxidation. Someone desiring the appearance of wealth without paying the full price will find that cold cast products are the perfect solution.