MAT Foundry Advance Eco Efforts With Sand Reclamation
Sand is a vital resource in many manufacturing practices – particularly when producing parts for the automotive or construction industries.
For foundries like MAT, a large part of the metal casting process pivots on the use of sand moulds. According to Advances in Civil Engineering, 4-5 tonnes of sand is required for every single tonne of metal produced via sand casting; and this ratio can often change, depending on the type of metal that needs to be cast, as well as the final part size and the moulding technique.
It isn’t easy for foundries to reuse sand in-house. After a certain number of casting cycles, the sand will be physically and chemically degraded from high exposure to heat. The sand eventually loses its binding and resistance properties, making the quality too poor to use as a moulding material.
At this stage, the sand is usually discarded as waste.
Worldwide, we go through 50 billion tons of sand every year.
According to Business Insider, this is twice the amount produced by every river in the world – and we don’t have an infinite supply.
The sand found in riverbeds, for example, is home to countless microorganisms which feed the base of the food chain – and unfettered mining will have serious ecological consequences.
With this in mind, it’s vital that manufacturers consider sustainability when using sand as a raw material – especially when the average foundry could take 8,000 tonnes of sand to landfill every year. This isn’t just a wasteful process; it’s extremely expensive, labour-intensive, and inefficient.
A smarter solution is desperately needed – and thankfully, MAT Foundry have both identified and implemented one.
Sand reclamation is a process which protects our ecosystems and improves manufacturing efficiency.
In 2022, MAT Foundry started using sand reclamation at their EURAC Poole facility.
Instead of taking degraded sand to landfill, it is now cleansed by a specialist machine – known as a ‘secondary attrition unit’. By scrubbing the sand clean, it becomes suitable for new processes and experiences a far longer lifecycle – which is expected to reduce consumption of new sand by 5,000 tonnes per annum.
It’s hoped that sand reclamation will dramatically improve efficiency for EURAC Poole – and in turn, spark the rollout of similar machinery across the MAT Foundry Group.
MAT Foundry is committed to improving its carbon footprint.
We have invested in a series of green initiatives that have allowed us to recycle 70% of the energy consumed across our foundries and machining facilities worldwide.
To underline and document our progress on this front, we have recently launched a new Sustainability section on our website.
Take a look to see how we’re improving efficiencies and reducing waste like never before. Contact Us to learn more.
MAT Foundry Group are a leading manufacturer of grey and ductile iron car components. To learn more about us, view our products or contact us today.
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