Iron-coated sand is an innovative tool which can be used for the removal of trace heavy metal ions from water. The application of iron-coated sand is influenced directly by the coating techniques. SEM/EDAX techniques were utilized to analyze the interactions between sand and iron oxide during the coating process, and the adsorption reaction for copper ions at water/iron oxide interface was investigated. The results indicated that the major factors affecting for iron oxide coating onto sand surface were the physical characteristics of sand and iron oxide surfaces. The interaction between the iron oxide on sand surface and copper ions was primarily the chemical bonds.