The results of investigations of thermal reclamation of spent moulding sands originating from an aluminum alloy foundry plant are presented in this paper. Spent sands were crushed by using two methods. Mechanical fragmentation of spent sand chunks was realized in the vibratory reclaimer REGMAS. The crushing process in the mechanical device was performed either with or without additional crushing-grinding elements. The reclaimed material obtained in this way was subjected to thermal reclamations at two different temperatures. It was found that a significant binder gathering on grain surfaces favors its spontaneous burning, even in the case when a temperature lower than required for the efficient thermal reclamation of furan binders is applied in the thermal reclaimer. The burning process, initiated by gas burners in the reclaimer chamber, generates favorable conditions for self-burning (at a determined amount of organic binders on grain surfaces). This process is spontaneously sustained and decreases the demand for gas. However, due to the significant amount of binder, this process is longer than in the case of reclaiming moulding sand prepared with fresh components.
The cumulative results of investigations of the possibility of using the reclaimed materials after the mechanical, thermal or mechanical-thermal reclamation for making cores by means of the blowing method in the alkaline CO2 technology, are presented in the paper. Three kinds of spent sands: with furfuryl resin, bentonite and alkaline phenolic resin, obtained from the foundry, were subjected to three kinds of reclamation: mechanical, thermal and combined mechanical-thermal, applying for this aim adequate experimental devices. The obtained reclaims were assessed with regard to the degree of the matrix liberation from the determined binding material. Reclaims of moulding sands with binders of the form of resin were assessed with regard to ignition loss values and pH reaction, while reclaims of moulding sands with bentonite with regard to the residual clay content and pH value. In all cases the results of the performed sieve analyses were estimated and the average characteristic diameter dl was determined. The reclaimed matrix was applied as a full substitute of the fresh high-silica sand in typical procedures of preparing core sands used for making shaped samples for bending strength investigations, Rg u .