Value-Added Composites From Foundry Industry Waste Materials

EPA Contract Number: 68D02035
Title: Value-Added Composites From Foundry Industry Waste Materials
Investigators: Merrington, Adrian
Small Business: Resource Recovery Corporation of West Michigan
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2002 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , SBIR - Waste , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The cost to the United States foundry industry to landfill the 12 billion pounds of spent sand and 4 billion pounds of process residual fines is approaching $300 million per year. The foundry industry has spent considerable effort on recycling the spent foundry sand that originally was used to produce molds in which the ferrous and nonferrous (primarily aluminum) parts were produced. However, there currently are no recycling alternatives for the fines recovered from dust collectors, and this material is disposed of in landfills at significant environmental and economic burden to the United States.

One approach to removing this burden is to use a combination of foundry industry fines with plastics to produce composite parts with value. Preliminary experiments show that efficacious binders for foundry industry fines may include virgin or recycled thermoplastics. Resource Recovery Corporation of West Michigan's Phase I research will expand on these preliminary investigations to establish the most efficient and cost-effective binders. Furthermore, useful portions of the foundry industry fines will be identified and separated for characterization and classification purposes. Inorganic-organic composites test coupons will be formed and tested against part specifications.

Applications for these composite parts include counterweights for furniture and appliances such as ranges, and vibration dampeners for appliances such as washing machines and dryers.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, composites, foundry industry, landfill, thermoplastics, fines, recycling., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Sustainable Industry/Business, Municipal, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Economics and Business, Environmental Engineering, clean technologies, cleaner production, foundry industry, green design, waste recycling, composite parts manufacturing, environmental sustainability, emission controls, municipal waste, recovered materials, composites, recycling, emissions control, municipal solid waste landfills, waste processing, reuse, waste management, waste recovery, thermoplastics, resource recovery, industrial innovations, spent foundary sand, waste markets

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report