Excerpt from the September 2019 TheLibraryofManufacturing.com article.
Sand casting is the most widely used metal casting process in manufacturing. Almost all casting metals can be sand cast. Sand castings can range in size from very small to extremely large. Some examples of items manufactured in modern industry by sand casting processes are engine blocks, machine tool bases, cylinder heads, pump housings, and valves, just to name a few.
Most sand casting operations use silica sand (SiO2). A great advantage of sand in manufacturing applications is that sand is inexpensive. Another advantage of sand to manufacture products by metal casting processes, is that sand is very resistant to elevated temperatures. In fact, sand casting is one of the few processes that can be used for metals with high melting temperatures such as steels, nickel, and titanium. Usually sand used to manufacture a mold for the casting process is held together by a mixture of water and clay. A typical mixture by volume could be 89% sand, 4% water, 7% clay. Control of all aspects of the properties of sand is crucial when manufacturing parts by sand casting, therefore a sand laboratory is usually attached to the foundry.Read More