Creating metal parts requires a metal casting process that will mold the metal into virtually any shape. The sand casting process is a direct, versatile and cost-effective option for producing metal components in foundries, but what is sand casting?
With Warner Brothers Foundry Company, you will get top-quality sand casting services that exceed your expectations. Our team will help you throughout the process, including selecting the best alloy for your project. Our orders for sand casting in Michigan have a quick turnaround so you can keep your production on schedule.
What Is Sand Casting?
Sand casting is a metal casting process that uses sand as the mold material. In sand casting, the mold is formed around a pattern by ramming sand, mixed with the proper bonding agent, onto the pattern. Then, the pattern is removed, leaving a cavity in the shape of the casting to be made. If the casting is to have internal cavities or undercuts, sand cores are used to make them. Molten metal is poured into the mold, and after it has solidified, the mold is broken to remove the casting.
Aluminum is used in the sand casting process because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, weighing less than cast zinc, steel, iron and brass. Aluminum castings are also more economical than welded components, forging or stamping due to their:
- Excellent corrosion resistance
- Fewer required machining cycles
- Ability to be buffed, electroplated, anodized and powder coated
At Warner Brothers Foundry Company, we use these aluminum alloys in our sand casting foundry:
- 319: This alloy has great machining and casting characteristics. It is used to create structural castings for automotive and transportation parts and in other general commercial applications.
- A356: The A356 alloy has improved mechanical properties such as strength, elongation and ductility. A356 is primarily used in heat treatment applications and castings that need high strength.
- C355: This alloy is similar to A356 with the addition of copper to improve its strength, which is maintained at higher temperatures. C355 is best for pressure-tight applications.
- 535: Aluminum alloy 535 is a high-strength aluminum that reaches its full properties without heat treatment. It offers great corrosion resistance, excellent machine abilities and dimensional stability.
- 713: This alloy is a high-strength aluminum casting alloy that is not heat treated. It has great yield, elongation and tensile properties, and it has the best impact strength of our aluminum alloy options achieved through a natural aging process.
Benefits of Sand Casting
Similar processes to sand casting services include graphite permanent mold casting, investment casting and V-casting. These casting types use graphite, wax and unbound sand, respectively. In comparison to the other kinds of metal casting, sand casting provides the following advantages:
- Versatility: A wide variety of alloys, shapes, and sizes can be sand cast. Aluminum sand castings can be molded into any shape, so they can be used for applications in many industries.
- Cost savings: Sand is a cost-effective material because it is chemically inert and refractory. The sand casting process has a low cost of minimum equipment when a small number of castings is to be made.
- Material options: Sand casting can be completed with many ferrous and non-ferrous metals. A minimum wall thickness of 3.8 mm (0.15 in.) normally is required for aluminum sand castings.
Sand Casting Services in Michigan
Sand casting creates metal parts using a cavity in a sand mold. Warner Brothers Foundry Company offers various sand casting foundry techniques, including aluminum sand castings and no-bake sand molding. Learn more about our options to decide which is best for your project.
Aluminum Sand Castings
The Aluminum sand casting process — also called green sand molding — uses green sand, a regenerated sand mixed with synthetic or natural binders. This mixture of sand, water and clay is placed in a mold to create a cavity of the object to be cast. This creates two casts that are clamped together. Molten metal is then poured onto the mold. During the cooling period, the metal solidifies. The heat from the molten metal removes moisture, so the cast is easy to crack open during the cast shake-out process.
No-Bake Sand Molding
The no-bake sand molding process uses a chemical binder to hold the sand together, allowing for more complex castings. Because there are no combustion products incorporated into the material, this process can consistently produce high-quality products.
When to Choose Sand Casting
The sand casting process is ideal for:
- Parts that don’t need a precise shape and have a low to medium run
- Large parts that are not compatible with other casting types
- Parts that have a complex production process
The no-bake sand molding process specifically is ideal for castings that are very large, have deep pockets or have limited draft situations.
Below are the industries that use aluminum and castings and some products that can be made from the process:
- Automotive: Intake manifolds, brake drums and housings
- Architecture: Memorial plaques, sculptures and curtainwall components
- Food and beverage: Housings, wear shoes and cold plates
- Decorative: Sculptures, hardware and bells
- Municipal: Impellers, monuments and valves
- Hydraulics: Pump components, fittings and impellers
- Machine tool: Brackets, gauges and housings
- Mining: Oil pans, sheaves and hardware
- Military: Brake shoes, weapons system components and shelter components
- Energy and power generation: Impellers, terminals and electrodes
- Marine: Cleats, propeller tips and trim pieces
- Antique restoration: Gas pumps, slot machines and billiard tables
- Chemical: Augers, housings and mixers
- Metal processing: Gripper caps, shoulder supports and pipe threader components
- Water and wastewater: Return guides, bushings and valves
- Automation: Trolleys, brake shoes and pallets
Request a Quote for Aluminum Sand Castings Today
Warner Brothers Foundry Company has been family-owned and operated for more than 65 years. Our sand foundry in the Detroit, Michigan, area can create quality parts with quick turnaround.
If you are interested in our sand casting services, request a quote by contacting us online or by calling 586-773-0858.