Sand casting, also known as sand molded casting, is a metal casting process characterized by using sand as the mold material. The term "sand casting" can also refer to an object produced via the sand casting process. Sand castings are produced in specialized factories called foundries. Over 70% of all metal castings are produced via a sand casting process.The molten material is poured in the pouring cup, which is part of the gating system that supplies the molten material to the mold cavity. The vertical part of the gating system connected to the pouring cup is the sprue, and the horizontal portion is called the runners and finally to the multiple points where it is introduced to the mold cavity called the gates. Additionally there are extensions to the gating system called vents that provide the path for the built up gases and the displaced air to vent to the atmosphere.
The cavity is usually made oversize to allow for the metal contraction as it cools down to room temperature. This is achieved by making the pattern oversize. To account for shrinking, the pattern must be made oversize by these factors, on the average. These are linear factors and apply in each direction. These shrinkage allowance are only approximate, because the exact allowance is determined the shape and size of the casting. In addition, different parts of the casting might require a different shrinkage allowance. See thecasting allowance table for the approximate shrinkage allowance expressed as the Pattern Oversize Factor.
Sand castings generally have a rough surface sometimes with surface impurities, and surface variations. A machining (finish) allowance is made for this type of defect. See casting allowance table for the finish allowance.