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An original set-up has been used to study the mechanical properties of aluminium alloys in tension during solidification with a high cooling rate (70 K/s). The mechanical behaviour of 6056 aluminium alloy with and without grain refiner has been investigated as well as that of mixtures between AA6056 and AA4047. The results show that the alloys exhibit a viscoplastic behaviour in the mushy state. A transition is observed between fracture in the mushy state and fracture in the solid state as a function of the displacement rate. This displacement rate at the transition depends on the cooling rate and on the composition of the alloy. The displacement before fracture is observed to be independent of displacement rate but to depend on the composition and on the solidification rate. Based on the observations a criterion for fracture in the mushy state is proposed. A simple rheological law describing the mechanical behaviour of the alloys is coupled to a finite element calculation giving the thermal field during the tensile test. This simulation is able to reproduce the mechanical response of the solidifying alloy during a non-isothermal test.