The article presents the directions of foundry waste management, mainly used for spent foundry sands (SFS) and dust after the reclamation of this waste. An important aspect of environmental protection in foundry production is the reduction of the amount of generated waste as a result of SFS regeneration. The advantage is the reuse of waste, which reduces the costs of raw materials purchase and environmental fees for landfilling. Non -recycled spent foundry sands can be used in other industries. SFS is most often used in road and construction industries as well as inert material in closed mines (Smoluchowska and Zgut 2005; Bany-Kowalska 2006). An interesting direction of using SFS is its application in gardening and agriculture. The article presents the advantages and disadvantages of such use. It was found that spent foundry sands can be useful for the production of soil mixtures for many agricultural and horticultural applications. Due to the possibility of environmental pollution with heavy metals and organic compounds, such an application is recommended for the so-called green sands, i.e. SFS with mineral binders. In addition, an innovative solution for the energy use of dusts after spent foundry sands reclamation with organic binders has been discussed and proposed by some researchers. It was shown that dust from reclaimed SFS with organic binders can be used as an alternative fuel and raw material in cement kilns, due to the high percentage of organic substances which determine their calorific value and silica.
The results of investigations of spent moulding sands taken from the mould in which the metal core cooling system - to increase the cooling rate of the ladle casting - was applied, are presented in the hereby paper. The changes of the spent moulding sand at the casting external side being the result of degradation and destruction processes of organic binder, were analysed in this publication. Since the reclaimed material, obtained as a result of the mechanical reclamation of spent sands of the same type, is used as a grain matrix of the moulding sand, the amount of a binder left from the previous technological cycle is essential for the sound castings production. On the bases of investigations of the thermal analysis, ignition losses, dusts contents and pH values of the samples taken from the spent sand the conditions under which the process of gases displacing in the casting mould was realised as well as factors limiting the efficient mould degassing - were considered in this study. The possible reason of a periodical occurrence of an increased number of casting defects due to changing gas volume emission, being the reason of the realised technological process, was indicated.
The investigation results of the influence of the selected parameters of the thermal reclaimer operations on the temperature changes in the combustion chamber and the process energy consumption, are presented in the hereby paper. The analysis of the heat treatment was performed with the application of a fresh foundry sand, since it was assumed that the dominating energy part was used for the grain matrix heating and due to that, the energy used for burning small amounts of organic binder remained on sand grains could be omitted. Thermal treatment processes performed under various conditions were analysed from the point of view of a gas consumption and temperatures obtained in the experimental reclaimer. The recorded data allowed to point out the parameters having essential influence on the process of the quartz matrix heating in the combustion chamber as a gas consumption function.
The results of the efficiency of the primary reclamation process as well as the influence of the used sand temperature and other process parameters on it are presented in this paper. A separate stand realized on a reduced scale was built, which is an analogous process of the primary reclamation treatment of spent foundry sands. The used sands were introduced to the crushing process in an agglomerated form in the way typically used in industrial devices. The primary reclamation process was realized on a set of four horizontal sieves with decreasing mesh clearances while maintaining their geometrical dimensions applied in the Regmas industrial device. The model system consists of a vibratory drive mounted on the table, allowing us to control the supply frequency of the vibratory motors within a range of 40-60 Hz as well as the computer system for measuring the vibration parameters and drive power. The used sand on the quartz matrix with the KALTHARZ U404 resin and 100T3 hardener was used in our investigations. The used sand was prepared under the following conditions: cubic-shaped elements made of the applied furan sand was compacted by vibrations then hardened and subjected to heating under controlled conditions (as a “simulation” of the overheating process taking place in the mold after pouring). Time functions of the crushing and sieving process in dependence of the overheating degree of the reference sand samples (100°, 200°, and 300°C) were investigated at various table vibration frequencies and feed loads of the sieve set. The relative index of the crushing ability was determined.
One of the biggest problems for sand casting foundries must be the waste produced from disposable molds. Stricter environmental regulations make it harder to dispose of waste sand, so a truly competitive foundry does no longer only make great products, but also concentrates on a sustainable casting process. While methods for repurposing waste foundry sand are still limited, the internal circulation of such sands proves significant possibilities. This paper will focus on thermal reclamation of foundry sands in a special rotating drum furnace in a central facility to serve several foundries. Thermal reclamation is a process for handling foundry sands in elevated temperatures to combust unwanted substances from reusable base sand. The introduction focuses on background of the Finnish foundry business, the most common sand systems in Finland and their reclaim properties. The experimental part features presentation of the new reclamation plant process and the conducted test runs. The samples collected from each test run have been laboratory tested to assure proper sand quality. The results of this work showed that the reclamation of alkaline phenolic no-bake sands was excellent. Reclamation of green sands did not provide satisfactory results as expected and the reclamation of furan no-bake sands provided mixed results, as the raw material was imperfect to begin with. The most important result of this work is still the successful initiation of a centralized thermal reclamation plant, with the ability to reclaim sands of several foundries. With this all of industrial symbiosis, circular economy and sustainability advanced in Finland, and the future development of this plant provides even further opportunities and a possibility to spread the ideas on a global scale.
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 results of investigations of spent moulding sands taken from the mould at various distances from the surface of the produced casting, are presented in the paper. The casting mould was made with an application of the cooling system of the metal core in order to increase the cooling rate of the ladle casting. As temperature measurements in the mould indicated the heat flow from the metal did not create conditions for the complete burning of a moulding sand. The analysis was performed to find out changes of spent moulding sands caused by degradation and destruction processes of organic binders. Conditions occurring in the casting mould were discussed on the bases of testing: ignition losses, dusts contents, pH reactions and the surface morphology of the moulding sand samples. Factors limiting the effective mould degassing were pointed out. Operations, possible for realization, which can limit the reasons of a periodical occurrence of increased amounts of casting defects due to changing gas evolution rates being the result of the technological process, were also indicated.