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Re-use of Foundry Sand and Spent Investment Casting Shell Innovation Workshop

Posted on 20/03/2019

KTN, BEIS, Innovate UK & Cast Metal Federation to host workshop on the Re-use of Foundry Sand and Spent Investment Casting Shell Innovation.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK, Cast Metals Federation and KTN are hosting a workshop on the re-use of foundry sand and spent investment casting shell innovation on Tuesday 26th March in London. The event will engage with a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary group representing the materials (including ceramics, glass, cement, geopolymers), manufacturing, infrastructure, art & craft and design communities.

The workshop will explore innovative concepts for the greater re-use of foundry casting sand and spent investment-casting shell for applications and processes currently not served by the foundries. The event will feature a keynote address from BEIS/UKRI on circular economy/resource efficiency in the UK, as well as group discussions on the opportunities and limitations for the re-use of sand and investment casting shell ceramics.

This workshop will explore the following opportunities:

  • The development of applications for re-use of spent foundry sand and spent investment casting shell material, for example in large infrastructure projects, for art & craft objects, as secondary raw materials for additive manufacturing, etc.
  • Increasing resource and energy efficiency and reducing the use of raw materials within the foundry industry (improving environmental impact)
  • Reducing the volume of waste sent to landfill (improving environmental impact)
  • Reducing costs for the UK foundry industry (through process efficiency and increased reuse of sand/shell)

Why is the event relevant today?

The foundry industry is interested in developing applications that would allow the re-use of spent foundry sand and spent investment casting shell material.   The latter in particular is generally inert and has good properties for use in construction for instance.  Many foundries do reclaim sand for re-use but this is not possible in all cases.  Sand and shell still go to landfill, adding cost to the foundry and traffic on the roads.

Changes in technology mean that it has become easier and more economically viable to recover and re-use foundry sand within the foundry process but there are still foundries who are not able to recover their sand for a variety of technical, economic and logistical reasons and there is still waste sand generated from the process that goes to landfill. Likewise spent shell, typically alumina, fused silica and zircon, is not typically reused.

Link to Clean Growth Strategy: an increase in re-use and reclamation levels would help the UK meet its objectives within the clean growth strategy by contributing to the circular economy and increasing resource efficiency. The project will contribute towards transforming one of the UK’s foundation industries.

Input is sought from:

  • Industrialists (technical, environmental, business development and strategy) from micro to multinational businesses with an interest in innovation
  • Foundries and suppliers of materials and equipment to the foundry and casting industry who have an interest in increasing resource efficiency
  • Academics and research professionals in Universities, Institutes, RTOs etc. with an interest in research and innovation applicable to circular economy and product and process development
  • Key local innovation ecosystem players such as LEPs, particularly in areas where foundries are located.
  • Regulatory bodies such as Environment Agency, WRAP
  • Other Government Departments, Agencies and organisations: Defra, Highways Agency, Mineral Products Association, Construction Product Association, SAMSA (plus projects such as HS2, Crossrail)

Find out more information and register here.

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