Sand casting and metals comparison

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Sand Casting:

Sand casting can use to produce very large size of the metal components with different size and connected parts. Those smaller components can be produce are included gears, pulley crankshaft, connecting rods and propellers. Large components are included housing equipment and heavy machine parts. In automotive factory, sand casting is the common process to produce the car components, such as engine block, cylinder head and so on. This sand casting of the equipment is involved metal, pattern, sand mold and furnace or gas burner, but this process is a low production rate.


Aluminum is a light metal and then this is the third most abundant metal in the earth crust. In the economy, aluminum already became the second most important metal, because after recycled that is no different quality between the original or natural condition and the recycled. It can use to make pistons, clutch housing, exhaust manifolds, sport equipment such as golf clubs and bicycles and so on.


Zinc is the 23rd most abundant metal in the earth crust. This metal good for die casting process and it can use to make automotive parts and tool, gears, office equipment, building hardware, and so on

Problem Statement:

Sand Casting:

  • In manufacturing has many types of casting process, to prefer the sand casting to produce the prototype, it because low tooling cost and easy to make, this process can consider as multipurpose molding process. This casting process is use sand to create the mold and then the sand can be recycling; therefore this process I call it a multipurpose molding process.
  • Sand is a very cheap material and then sand can release high temperature; this sand casting can use different preparations of the sand to create the mold, which are Greensand Mold, Skin-Dried Mold, Dry Sand Mold and No-Bake Mold. My project prefers to use field sand and beach sand to produce different types of prototypes. Field sand can get it from the field, but the fields sand of the particles are bigger than the beach sand, both of this sand also can easily get it.
  • Advantages: can use most of the metal to cast, no limit size and shape or weight and low tooling cost
  • Disadvantages: finishing required, coarse surface and low strength product

Aluminum And Zinc:

  • Both of these materials are not expensive and the melting point is less than 1000oC.
  • Both also metal also won't cause health problem, if I did not breathe in more concentrations.


The objective of this project is to identify sand casting of the advantages and disadvantages and also aluminum property and zinc property. The purpose to do this project is to understand the sand casting and what is the different between zinc and aluminum. If use beach sand and field sand to cast the prototype, see which sand is the batter for this sand casting.

Literature Review

Sand Casting:

In manufacturing process have many types of casting process. Sand casting is one of the casting processes to produce metal with different shape, this process is use sand to create the mold and the advantages are low tooling cost, no limit size and most of the metal cast. Sand casting is the traditional method and this process already used for millennia and sand casting is the most common casting process 90% of the industrial casting has been using this process. This sand mold is making by Cope mold (top mold) and Drag mold (bottom mold). Appendix D, Figure 2.1.1 had shown the sand mold opened and closed and also label out the name.

The outline of the sand-casting shown below

Basically Sand Casting Of 6 Steps:

1. Mold-making:

First step is to put all the sand into each half of the mold, after that put the prototype in sand to make an imprint.

2. Clamping :

Once the mold already make the shape, then can remove the prototype and then two of the half mold clamping together and drill a hole for pouring molten metal.

3. Pouring:

Once the metal already molten then can pour into the mold.

4. Cooling:

Let the molten metal cool and wait the metal become solidification.

5. Removal:

After the solidification, the can break the sand mold and remove the casting.

6. Trimming:

Trim the excess material, a larger casting will require a longer trimming time.


Aluminum is a metal of lightweight and soft, the metal of the outward color looks dull silvery and this metal is non-magnetic and non-spackling. Aluminum-27 is the only one of the naturally occurring isotope, which is not radioactive.


Aluminum is a silvery and low cost metal in the metal group of element, because this metal can be pressed, beaten or pulled without being heated. In much industrial used aluminum to produce millions of different of products, this is very important to the world economic. Use aluminum to make structural component are essential to the aerospace industry, transportation and building in which are needed lightweight, strength and durability. Copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese and silicon are easily forms alloy with pure aluminum.

Those early modern mirror of the thin reflective coating which is the back surface of the float glass is made from aluminum. The telescope of the mirror is also covering with thin aluminum layer.

Some of the electrical parts or accessory can make by aluminum, such as cans, foil and so on, because aluminum can produce high conductivity and low price. If the price of aluminum compare with copper, the aluminum is the cheaper.

Aluminum In The Environment:

Aluminum is the third most metal in the earth crust; it is very infrequently occur in free foam. Aluminum is hard to take out from ore and this is the difficult metal to refine on the earth, because that aluminum is oxidized very fast and that is an extremely stable to compound of oxygen and other one substance, it is not like rust on iron and does not broker off. The reason of the aluminum is very hard to refine, but it can use in many application.

For the aluminum industrial, this metal recovery from scrap has become very important component. In the worldwide of the industrial production, they already reserves 6 billion tones of ores and around 20 million tons of aluminum recycle per year.

Health Effect Of Aluminum:

Aluminum is one of the commonly use metal and this metal is a harmless compound, due to these fact. One of the particles is call ions, it is the water-soluble form of aluminum and this is also harmful effect. It is usually can find in a solution of aluminum in mixing with other ion, for example aluminum-chlorine. But when the aluminum becomes high concentration, it will cause health effect.

The aluminum can through the food, breathing and skin contact to uptake, if uptake certain concentration of aluminum for long period can cause serious health problems, such as:

  • Damage the main nervous system
  • Dementia, which means madness with less power of thinking due to brain injury.
  • Loss memory
  • Listlessness, which means having no energy and vitally.

In certain working environment, aluminum is possibility of meeting danger, such as mines; the mines can get it in water. Those factories using aluminum to produce product, their worker may get lung cancer when they are working in production line, because they keep on breathe in aluminum dust.

Breathe in finely aluminum and aluminum oxide powder, it will cause pulmonary fibrosis and lung damage or cancer. This effect of aluminum knows as Shaver's Disease, it is complicated to present in the inhaled air of silica and oxides of iron.

Environment Effect Of Aluminum:

The mainly risk of aluminum cause the acidifying problem, that's already shown the attention. If the aluminum gradually to refine in plants, it will cause animals health effect and consume animals.

If the aluminum becomes highest concentrations in acidified lakes, then the fish and those animals living in that lake, it will get effect and consume due to the aluminum ion with proteins reaction in the gills fish and embryo's of frogs. High concentration of aluminum also can upon birds, insects or other animals to get consume, because it breather in aluminum air. The effect of fish is their eggshell thinning and the effect of birth is their chicks with low birth-weights. The animals breathe in aluminum through the air, it may get lung problem, weight loss and gradually consume.

Not only in the acidified and air, even the groundwater of acid soils may have high concentrations of aluminum. The roof of trees can get damage, if the groundwater remains the high concentration of aluminum.


Zinc is a metal of lustrous and tending towards blue color. This metal is hard, but easily broken. When this metal heated between 1100C and 1500C, it become ductile and easily presses into different shape. If combine with oxygen and non-metals, it is a completely reactive metal.


Zinc is use mainly for coat and protect the iron prevent form rust. Galvanize steel need more than 50% of metallic zinc, but preparation of certain alloys also very important. In the automobile industry, zinc is use for die casting.

Zinc In The Environment:

Zinc is the one of the metals are usual substance that refine in naturally, actually zinc contain certain concentrations in many foodstuffs. Drinking water also contains certain of concentrations of zinc, if stored in the metal tank and then the concentration of zinc may be rising higher. Those industrial sources or toxic waste sites of the drinking water contain certain amount of zinc, it may reach to certain level can cause health problem.

Zinc can be finding in air, water and soil, but the concentrations of zinc can addition by human activities, it is rising unnaturally. During industrial activities, such as coal, mining, process of burning and steel processing, all of this activities can make zinc rising in the environment. Some soil are get heavy pollution by zinc, then that area can be found the zinc mined or zinc refined, which means zinc also can use for fertilizer.

Zinc is the 23rd most abundant in the earth's crust. The most prominent ore is zinc blended, other important zinc ores, such as wurzite, smithsonite and homimorphite. Canada, Russia, USA and Peru', this few countries are the main of zinc mine. Over 7 million tons per year in the world production and over 100 millions tones exploitable reserves by the commerce and more than 30% of the zinc is recycling in the world.

Health Effects Of Zinc:

Zinc is a track element that necessary or indispensable for human health, if the people absorb only a little bit of zinc, they will loss appetite, slow recovering, sense of taste and smell are decreased. Even zinc-shortages can cause born defects.

Although zinc is necessary for human, if human absorb too much zinc also can cause health problem, such as stomach, vomiting, nausea and skin irritations. If absorb higher level concentration of zinc can damage our digestion system and breathe system.

In the working environment, zinc contagion can cause human flu-like condition, know as metal fever, but this metal fever only two days.

Zinc is danger to the unborn and newborn children. Those women with a unborn child, when they absorbed large concentration of zinc, then the unborn child may be expose the concentrations through blood or milk of their mother.

Effects Of Zinc On The Environment:

The world production of zinc still rising, that means in the environment will have more and more zinc ends up.

Industrial plants release large quantity of zinc into the wastewater, then the wastewater get polluted with zinc, finally the effected of river are depositing zinc-polluted sludge on area banks and the water also may increase zinc acidity.

Some of the fish still can alive in the zinc contaminated river, because the fish can receive zinc into their body. The zinc able to biomagnified up to food chain, once the zinc enters the fish body.

Soils can contain large quantity of zinc, when zinc already polluted the soils of farmland. The contaminate groundwater contain certain amount of water-soluble which is located in soils.

The areas of soil accumulation of zinc, then the plants cannot handle when the plants often uptake the zinc. Only a limited of plants has a chance to survive. That means near by the zinc factory, there is not much plant. The area of plant effects by zinc that is a serious threat to the farmland.

Methodology And Implementation


My project title is Sand Casting & Metals Comparison, first is to use sand casting to produce two different metals of prototypes, I am going to use aluminum and zinc to do comparison, the comparison parts are included some calculation base on the prototype dimension, experiment, metal properties and surface comparisons. The mold is creating by field sand and beach sand, because I want to know which sands are good condition for this sand casting process. In this project, I just make the Drag mold (bottom mold), because I totally do not have the sand casting tooling, then i use the aluminum biscuit tank and the cat tank to be the mold flask.


How I make my prototypes from the beginning until the end, there is some pictures showing below:


To calculate the elastic and ultimate load for the given material and draw the stress strain diagram.


A material is to be used as part of an engineering structure that will be subjected to load (e.g. Machine member, the support for a bridge), it is important to know that material is strong enough and rigid enough to withstand the loads that it will experience in use. As a result, engineers have developed a number of techniques for testing the response of torsion (twisting).

An introduction to the properties of engineering materials, we are going to measure the response of a sample material Zinc and Aluminum to being pulled in tension in a single direction (uniaxial tension). To do this, we will use a simple mechanical test known as a tensile test.

In this test, a sample such is held rigidly between a fixed beam and moving beam (the crosshead). A dial is used to measure the stress that builds up in the material as its length is increased by moving the crosshead. The change in the length of the sample as pulling proceeds is measured form either the change in crosshead position (extension +ve).

Experimental Produce:

Sample Preparation And Mounting

Test samples prepared as per the specification and screwed into the jaws and jaws slowly pulled apart. The force is increased and the rest piece stretches before finally breaking. The quantities to be measured during the test are tensile strength and extension of the test piece.

Tensile strength s = Load (F) / Area (A)

Strain e = Change in length 0 Original length

Experiment 2


  • Brinell testing machine
  • 10mm ball inderter
  • Specimens
  • 20 times magnification microscope


1) Install the indenter according to the manufacturing's instruction.

2) Select the test weight for the specimen.

3) Load the test weight on the pendent according to the following combination as shown below:

Test weight

Load combination on pendent


Pendent + 1.25kg (1 Nos) + 5kg (1 Nos) + 10kg (5 Nos)


Pendent + 1.25kg (1 Nos) + 5kg (1 Nos) + 10kg (1 Nos)


Pendent + 1.25kg (1 Nos) + 10kg (1 Nos)

4) Set the holding time of the test to 15 sec. Use the ­ ¯ keys to adjust the time.

5) Place the specimen on the anvil.

6) Turn the handwheel until it locks.

7) Press the start button to load the specimen.

8) Loading and unloading process is automatically done by machine.

9) When unloading is complete, lower the anvil by turning the handwheel in the opposite direction.

10) Remove the specimen and place it on a flat surface.

11) Use the microscope to measure the diameter of the dent made by the indenter.

12) Set the microscope scale to “0.0”

13) Place the microscope over the dent such that the “0” scale is at the edge of the dent.

14) Locate the position of the moving vertical line. The line should be within the dent. If not turn the micrometer to set the line to any position within the dent.

15) Set the micrometer scale to zero.

16) Turn the dial until the moving vertical line coincides with the opposite edge.

17) Read the position of the vertical line on the scale in the microscope. This will give the integer value of the diameter of the dent.

18) Read the micrometer reading and add it to the integer reading to get the final diameter of the dent.

19) Example, from Figure 2 above the integer is 2, and from Figure 3 the reading is 55.7 hence the diameter of the dent is:

2 + (55.7/100) = 2.557mm

(Please note: 100 divisions on the micrometer scale equal 1mm)

Experiment 3


The notched bar impact bending test is intended for cast steel and cast steel, however it also can be used for non-ferrous metals. The purpose of the notched bar impact bending test is to assess the strength of a material, as well as to determine whether the material has a tendency to cleavage fracture. The material is loaded by applying an abrupt bending load to a probe mounted in a double-sided bearing; the probe has a notch in the middle on one side. The results from the notched bar impact bending test are only comparable if they are obtained on probes of the same geometrical shape under the same experiment conditions. A high resistance to the notched bar impact test is, however, generally indicative of good necking and elongation of the material.

Measuring Principle:

The notched bar impact bending test is performed using a pendulum impact tester. During this test a pendulum hammer falls from a maximum height (height of fall “h”). At its lowest point, the hammer meets the rear of a notched specimen. On driving of dragging the specimen through the dolly, part of the pendulum energy is absorbed by deformation and fracture. The necessary notched bar impact work AK can be read directly on the gauge (height h1). As the magnitude of the notched bar impact work is dependent on the shape of the specimen, the later must always be defined, e.g. Ak = 10 J.

Ak = M.g (h-h1)

The quotient of the notched bar impact work and the nominal cross-section (that is the remaining area of the specimen at the base of the notch) is the notched bar impact strength:

aK = Ak / So

Technical Data:

  • Capacity…………………………………………………………...……300Nm
  • Hammer impact speed………………………………………...………....5.5m/s
  • Bearing spacing for the specimens………………………...…………….40mm
  • Main dimension (I x W x H)………………………….2800 x 700 x 1460 mm
  • Diameter of the scale…………………………………………...........f 650 mm
  • Weight …………………………………………………………………380 kg
  • Power supply……………………………………………………….230~/50Hz

Results And Discussions

To calculate the total mass of requirement to make all the prototypes:

Aluminum and Zinc Properties:



Atomic number



Atomic mass






Melting point



Thermal conductor

good conductor

good conductor

Electrical conductor

good conductor

good conductor

To calculate total volume of the requirement:

(The shape of the prototypes refer to Figure 4.1)

To make two units of prototype A:

To make two units of prototype B:

To make one unit of prototype C:

Total volume, VT:

To calculate the mass of the metal requirement to make all the prototypes:

(extra add 50% of the mass for incase failure or metal no enough, and then base on the density is consider pure of that metal, but in actual of the metal cannot get the pure, it must be compound some small percentage of the others metal)

Results And Discussions:

  • Base on the calculation of mass requirement, the zinc requirement are more than the aluminum requirement, because the density of zinc is higher than aluminum.
  • Why the density of zinc is higher than aluminum, (refer to Table 4.1) it because the atomic mass of zinc is higher than aluminum.

Tensile strength s = Load (F) / Area (A)

Strain e = Change in length 0 Original length

Results And Discussions:

Base on this Stress-strain graph already can see my tensile testing is failure, because lower elongation need higher tensile strength and then higher elongation only need lower tensile strength, this is impossible and no logic.

Failure reason: during the testing, when the tensile machine starting pulling the aluminum specimen got slope, so I cannot get the correct data and then the zinc specimen totally slope that's why all the zinc data fill in “failure”. In this tensile testing, cannot do the aluminum and zinc comparisons, because of failure.

This is the correct stress-strain graph, when increasing the stress to the specimen, then only can increasing the elongation.

Experiment 2: Hardness Test

From the hardness test is data (Table 4.3)

D= 10mm

Results And Discussions:

Base on this “Diameter dent vs Force” graph, aluminum and zinc apply same force, but the aluminum of the diameter dent is higher than zinc, which means zinc is harder than aluminum.

Base on this “Hardness vs Force” graph:

  • When force apply 750kg, then get the highest value of hardness, because the specimen of structure are perfectly, that's why the specimen at the beginning is the most hardness
  • When force apply 1000kg, then get the lowest value of hardness, because the specimen of structure already spoil at previously, so the structure become weak.
  • When force apply 3000kg, then the value of hardness rise up from the lower, because the specimen of structure already compressed together, that's why become more hardness.
  • Base on the graph, as we clearly to see that, zinc of the hardness is better than aluminum, no matter the force apply 750kg or 1000kg or 3000kg.

Experiment 3: Impact Test

From impact test, I get this data (Table 4.4)



Ak = m.g (h-h1)

aK = Ak / So


5.81x10-5 m2

1.580 m

22.37 Nm


7.11x10-5 m2

1.575 m

23.30 Nm



6.80x10-5 m2

1.510 m

35.41 Nm


8.50x10-5 m2

1.475 m

41.93 Nm



M= 19kg

Ak = m.g (h-h1)

g= 9.81m/s2

aK = Ak / So

h= 1.7m

Results and discussions:

Base on the “Notched bar impact vs cross-section area” graph, as we clearly to see that zinc of the surface tension is higher than aluminum.

Aluminum and zinc surface comparisons:

This two prototypes is cast by field sand, left hand side of the prototype is aluminum metal and right hand side of the prototype is zinc metal.

  • Base on the figure, aluminum of the surface got many spot whole, and then zinc of the surface got many finely spot whole.
  • The aluminum of the surface looks silvery-white and shining. The zinc of the surface looks dark and not shining.
  • After surface finishing for the aluminum and zinc prototypes, there is not big different, both of the surface smooth only.
  • Field sand is a low quality of sand and the particles are not finely. Base on my personally, the surface showing above, I still can acceptable.

This two prototypes is cast by beach sand, left hand side of the prototype is aluminum metal and right hand side of the prototype is zinc metal.

  • Base on the figure, the surface of aluminum and zinc are very bad, because have a lot of beach sand stick with the surface.
  • Beach sand of the particles are more finely than field sand, but for this sand casting, the finely sand doesn't means can cast out the nicer surface and also need to depends on the sand stick or not. Just use a hand to take up the sand and mix with a little bit water, then the hand compress the sand, after open hand the sand still stick each other, that means the sand can use in sand casting process.

Conclusions And Recommandation


Sand casting:

Base on my prototypes, field sand is better than beach sand in this sand casting process.

Aluminum and zinc:

  • Base on my experiment results, zinc of the strength, surface tension and hardness also batter than aluminum.
  • Aluminum cheaper and lighter than zinc.
  • Aluminum is not easy to refine in naturally, but it can use in much applications and recycle.
  • Zinc is very easy to refine and also can use in many applications and recycle.
  • Human need to absorb certain zinc, it's good for health. If absorb too much, then will cause health problem.


Sand minimum of requirement for the sand casting:

  • The sand must be finely
  • The sand mixes a little bit water, after compress the sand, and then the sand must be stick together.
  • The sand able to release high temperature.

Chapter 6


Sand casting:

1) Serope Kalpakjian, Steven Schmid. Manufacturing Engineering and Technology Fifth Edition in SI Units





3) SDM Smelting (M) Sdn. Bhd



2) JD Resources Sdn. Bhd,



2) Author: Martin Tarr,

3) Fenner, R T. Mechanis of solids, CRC press

4) William F.smith, Java Hashemi, Foundations of materials sciences and engineering


Appendix A: Budgets






Testing on sand casting for aluminum & zinc part




Beach sand





Appendix B: Gantt chart

Appendix C: User Manuel:

Aluminum and Zinc Composition of the prototype:

The sand mold opened and closed and also label out the name: