Characterization of Belle Natural Moulding Sand for Foundry Applications


There exists vast availability of natural sands which may be suitable for foundry applications in different locations Kwara State in particular and generally in Nigeria. The sands need to be identified and characterised for productive and profitable foundry practices. In this study, assessment of chemical and physicomechanical properties of the natural moulding sand in Belle community of Kwara State, Nigeria was carried out to ascertain its suitability for foundry applications. The analysis of the sand samples’ Chemical compositions were done using an XRF Analyser, while American foundry-men Society, ASTM and British standards laboratory tests procedures were adopted appropriately to determine the sand’s physico-mechanical properties. The results of chemical composition analysis showed that SiO2 have dominance proportion in the sand sample with an average value of 92.90 %, followed by Al2O3 (5.13%). CaO, Fe2O3, MgO, K2O, Na2O, ZnO and MnO were present within acceptable limits as trace elements. The results showed average physico-mechanical properties of the natural moulding sand sample to include grain fineness number (126), bulk density (1765 Kg/m3), moisture contents (7.66%), specific gravity (2.64), permeability (0.1cm/s), green compressive strength (51KN/m2), dry compressive strength (209KN/m2), flowability (65.22%), clay content (10%) shatter index (76%) and refractoriness (>900oC), which were within the required standards for casting of non-ferrous metal. Thus, Belle sand was found suitable for casting of non-ferrous metals. Though, there may be a need for the use of additives like bentonite, to enhance the sand’s clay content in order to increase the sand potential for foundry applications.



Characterisation, natural moulding sand, non-ferrous metals, sand casting


3. Shuaib-Babata, Y. L., Nafiu, M. B, Ajao, K. S., Ambali, I. O., Elakhame, Z. U, Busari, Y. O., Hassan, H.K. & Aremu, N. I (2019): Characterization of Belle natural moulding sand for foundry applications. USEP: Journal of Research Information in Civil Engineering. 16 (2); 2657–2678, Published by Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Available online at