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356 Aluminum Sand Casting

Aluminum alloy A356.0 and 356.0 are a 7% Si, 0.3% Mg alloy with 0.2 Fe (max) and 0.10 Zn (max). The alloys have very good casting and machining characteristics. Typically they are used in the heat-treated condition.

Corrosion resistance is excellent and it has very good weldability characteristics. Mechanical properties are rated excellent particularly if given a solution and aging treatment (T6). The anodized appearance is gray in color. 

Typically this alloy is used in castings for aircraft parts, pump housings, impellers, high velocity blowers and structural castings where high strength is required. It can also be used as a substitute for aluminum alloy 6061.

The fact that 356.0 and A356.0 have good castability makes it a logical choice for intricate and complex castings where lightweight, pressure tightness and excellent mechanical properties are needed.

The A in front of an alloy designation denotes a higher purity version of the chemical composition.  The differences are in the impurity levels allowed for Fe, Cu, Mn, Cr, Zn, and Ti and are as follows (all maximums):

356.0 Aluminum Sand Casting A356 Aluminum Casting 356.0 Aluminum Casting

Click to enlarge the following sample 356 Aluminum Alloy work.

Typical Mechanical Properties

Alloy Temper Ultimate Tensile (ksi) Yield Strength (ksi) Brinell Hardness (500 Kg) Shearing Strength (ksi)
319.0 F 27 18 70 22
355.0 T6 35 25 80 28
356.0 T6 33 24 70 26
A356.0 T6 40 30 75  
A357.0 T6 46 36 85 40
535.0 (Almag 35) F 40 20 70 27
713.0 (Tenzaloy) F or T5 34 23 75 265

Chemical Composition (%)

Alloy Cu. Si. Mg. Zn. Other
319.0 3.5 6      
355.0 1.3 5 0.5    
356.0   7 0.3    
A356.0   7 0.3   Fe 0.2 max
A357.0   7 0.6   Ti 0.1 Be 0.06
535.0 (Almag 35)     6.9   Be 0.005
713.0 (Tenzaloy) 0.7   0.4 7.5  

Typical Applications

Alloy Application
319.0 Engine crankcases, gas and oil tanks, engine oil pans, typwriter frames, engine parts.
355.0 Air  compressor pistons, printing press, water jackets & crankcases.
356.0 Flywheel castings, automotive transmission cases, oil pans, pump bodies.
A356.0 High strength airframe and space frame structural parts, machine parts, truck chassis parts, high velocity blower and impeller.
A357.0 High strength aerospace casting.
535.0 (Almag 35) High strength alloy used for electronic equipment, aircraft components and parts requiring a high degree of dimensional stability and strength. Superior ductility makes it an excellent replacement for malleable iron. No heat treat required.
713.0 (Tenzaloy) Automotive parts, trailer parts, pumps & mining equipment.

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