Metallurgy Research Centre

  • 23 de julio de 2015

IK4-Azterlan leads the technical support in the working initiative set by the Basque Countrie’s Department of Environment & Regional Planning along with the Foundry Sector, in order to prevent and to improve the management of waste foundry sand and fines.

The aim of this initiative set up by Basque Government, is to fulfill the requirements of the “Prevention and Waste Management Plan in the Basque Autonomous Community 2020”. Initial working meetings have taken place on 27th February, 17th March and 26th May of the present year 2015.

This 2020 Waste Plan seeks the reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill and the minimization of the environmental impacts of the ones that are in place. It is an ambitious management tool based in the concept of a circular economy, with the challenge of returning 3,5 million tons of waste materials to the productive process, diminishing the production of waste in half a million tons and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. At the same time, it is necessary to make full use of the infrastructures and recycling and recovery capacities that already exist.

Regarding the Ferrous Foundry Sector, the moulding spent sand and fines represent the 5th most important waste-flow of Non-Hazardous Waste in the Basque Country. The strategic objectives outlined in the plan are the following ones:

-5% reduction in the generation of foundry sand and fines by 2016 and 10% by 2020.
-Recycle 50% of foundry sand by 2016 and 75% by 2020 (the actual recycling rate is around 35%).

With the aim of advancing in the compliance of those challenges for the Foundry Sector, the Basque Government and Ihobe have promoted the creation of a working group with the compromise of 11 ferrous foundries, which generate more than 85% of the actual waste sand and fines.

IK4-Azterlan Metallurgy Research Center and the Foundry Association of the Basque Country and Navarre (AFV) take as well an active role in this initiative. The rest of foundries, which have a lower impact in the waste sand generation, will follow a collective work plan coordinated by the AFV.
The “analysis of the main technical and operational barriers that exist in the reclamation of spent sand and fines, setting out a road map for the search and implementation of advanced solutions” is among the objectives of this working group.

In the framework of this initiative (2015-2016), IK4-Azterlan has taken the commitment to lead the technical assistance and the work with the foundries, in order to develop a diagnosis, search of alternatives and advanced solutions according to Principle of waste management hierarchy (Waste Framework Directive, WFD), that include research lines in innovative reuse, recycling and reclaiming applications.

                                                                          Manufacturing of Ferrous castings in sand moulds and waste foundry sand originated in the casting process