Large quantities of foundry sand can be diverted from landfill through recycling it as a substitute for freshly quarried sand in construction applications. This helps protect natural resources and avoid landfill costs.
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Foundry sand is high quality silica sand used as a casting material in metal casting industry. Used foundry sand can contain a range of chemicals, as a result of the metals cast and the binding agents used. If placed in landfill there is a risk that these chemicals can leach into the environment. A significant portion of foundry sand is reused internally in the casting process however some wastage is generated in maintaining the appropriate properties of the sand. This wastage can also be recycled as a raw material substitute for freshly quarried sand. This helps avoiding large quantities of sand going to landfill and the associated landfill cost.
There are commercial operators who can recycle foundry sand however these options are currently quite limited. Most recycling is done through industry partnerships such as the automotive and cement industry.
What Happens When It’s Recycled?
Waste foundry sand is collected and depending on its chemical content can be used in few different applications. Construction applications are the most common uses for recycled foundry sand, such as structural fills, road and building bases, and embankments. Recycled foundry sand can also be used as feedstock for the manufacturing of Portland cement.