What alloys are used in sand casting?

The aluminium alloys used in sand casting and their impact on material properties.

What metals are used in sand casting?

The sand casting process can use a range of metals and alloys, including aluminium, iron, steel and magnesium. The versatility of the process means that material and mechanical properties of each metal can be optimised for every project and part.

How does alloy selection impact casting quality?

The choice of alloy used in sand casting will determine the casting quality and material properties of the part, as well as the design functionality.

Often, material selection reverts to what’s always been used, but higher performing, specially created alloys offer high performance combined with cost efficiency.

Different alloys will have different cooling and solidification rates. In turn, these will achieve different material properties.

GW_Sand Casting Process Map


What material properties can be achieved with alloy selection?

Alloy selection will impact material properties such as:

  • corrosion resistance
  • thermal conductivity
  • hardness
  • how the metal will behave at high temperatures (this is influenced by whether it does or does not contain silicon).

Selecting the alloy will depend on the type of prototype part you require and how closely you need to replicate production processes (and material properties of the part) with a prototype.



The different properties of alloys will affect the properties of your part. For example, aluminium-silicon has high corrosion resistance compared an aluminium-copper alloy; but lower fatigue properties. You can find more information in the graphic below.


Alloy Comparison Chart (3)-1

Modelling alloy behaviour with simulation software

Magma has been refined over many years by comparing empirical results with predictions for different alloys and the parameters. As a result, the simulation can demonstrate the different results that can be achieved with different alloys.

Read more: What finishing processes are used in sand casting?

Read more: Why are sand moulds used in the sand casting process?

Read more: How the sand casting process supports rapid prototyping.


Want to know more about the sand casting process? 

Download our free ebook, 'The Basics of the Sand Casting Process'.

Read the sand casting ebook