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Foundry byproducts characterization and adequacy report

This information is a summary of Deliverable B.1 Foundry byproducts characterization and adequacy report.


The deliverable summarises the characterisation and assessment of foundry byproducts for use as raw material in the elaboration of different ceramic products. 

In a first step, contacts with foundries have been made to select different sampling points, which are the maximum representative possible of the types of sand and dust generated in foundries. This selection has been carried out taking into account the results obtained in the Action A.1 from the database and the analysis of scientific literature, which ended in the classification on 20 different by-products categories. Once the different foundry sand and dust samples were selected, a total of 23 samples were sent to CTM and ITC project partners for their characterisation. 

Secondly, the selected samples of foundry sand and dust were analysed in order to determine their chemical and mineralogical composition and physical properties. Afterwards, these analyses will be the starting point to assess the adequacy of the use of byproducts for the manufacture of various ceramic products. There will be a special interest in determining those parameters which have been considered most problematic for the use in ceramic applications. 

The following parameters are reported for all samples:

Chemical composition (XRF)

Mineralogical composition (XRD)

Organic carbon content by Leco

Semi volatile organic compounds content (SVOC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and chlorophenols

Formaldehyde content

Activated bentonite content (Methylene blue test)

Determination of particle size distribution by sieving

Determination of particle size distribution by laser diffraction

Moisture content

Materials morphology by SEM micrography

Simultaneous thermal analysis (TGA-DSC) 

The content of Fe2O3 and organic matter were considered the most critical parameters to allow the use of foundry byproducts in ceramic tile production processes. Regarding the content of Fe2O3, percentages higher than 1,5% will not be adequate for white firing bodies, unless they are used in very low percentages (less than 0,5%). For red firing bodies, there is not a limit in Fe2O3 content. Taking into account the low percentages of these byproducts that will be used in the ceramic bodies (5% maximum), a reasonable limit for organic carbon of 2% has been established, for both red firing and white firing bodies. 

The results obtained from this action will be used in the C1.3 Sub-action for the human health chemical risk analysis related to the manufacture and use of ceramic products incorporating casting products as raw material.

Additionally, characterization results will be taken into account to adjust and define the pre-treatments to enhance the percentage of by-product use in the Action B.2.