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The Project


  1. Decrease hazardous air emissions from the casting process – the project aims to replace the currently used organic binders with new inorganic binders.
  2. Improve the indoor air quality for a safer work environment – organic binders emit hazardous casting fumes and fine particles like binder aerosols.
  3. Improve the use of natural resources – using inorganic binders would allow foundries to use the foundry sand more efficiently. Project aims to demonstrate different methods for purification and re-use of surplus sand.
  4. Provide encouraging examples for the industry on an EU level by implementing the new inorganic sand moulding systems in iron and steel pilot foundries.
  5. Produce the necessary practical tools for the industry with required information on the implementation of inorganic sand moulding systems in ferrous foundries.
  6. Provide Smitheries and Foundries BREF with BAT publication including technical solutions of inorganic binder systems in ferrous foundries. 


  1. Small scale tests casts will be made in Finland and Poland to measure the emissions of the casting processes. The measurements will made for ferrous castings using both organic and inorganic binder moulds. Chamber test methods and tests in laboratory foundry will be applied.
  2. Total emissions of five pilot foundries in Europe will be measured and compared representing both organic and inorganic binder system sand moulding systems.
  3. Indoor air quality will be measured and compared in same pilot foundries.
  4. Full production scale test series with inorganic binder system moulds will be made in two ferrous foundries. Inorganic binder suppliers will be contacted in early stage of the project to receive the newest information about the state-of-art and to choose the best inorganic binder options for the tests. Karhula Foundry in Finland is demonstrating stainless steel castings using different inorganic binders and sand types. Binder-sand combinations based on the recommendations from the binder suppliers will be pretested using test sample moulds. FOM Tacconi in Italy is demonstrating alloyed iron casting using different inorganic binder cores and moulds. The properties of the cores and moulds as well as the quality of the castings will be widely tested.
  5. Foundry sand recycling options will be tested and compared for inorganic and organic binder sands. Thermal reclamation and ultrasonic + microwave methods will be tested for using recycled sand in coremaking.
  6. Purification methods for surplus foundry will be demonstrated. Waste sands from organic and inorganic binder systems will be tested using composting and washing methods. The goal is to find ways to reuse surplus foundry sand e.g. in geo-construction or soil mixture instead of land filling. The cleaning of surplus foundry sand by composting method was developed and tested with organic binder system sand in previous LIFE project called “Foundry Sand” (LIFE13 ENV/FI/000285) in 2014-2018, coordinated by Meehanite Technology. The test results were encouraging and Meehanite Technology has the patent for composting method.

Expected results

Hazardous air emissions from the casting processes will decrease

  • the use of inorganic binders instead of organic binders are expected to reduce total hazardous airborne emissions by 80%.

Indoor air quality in foundries will improve

  • the use of inorganic binders instead of organic binders is expected to deminish the health risks of the workers by 70%.

Recycling of foundry sand will be more efficient

  • the need of virgin sand in foundries and amount of surplus foundry sand are expected to be reduced by increasing the sand recycling (14 %)

Waste problem of hazardous surplus foundry sand will be deminished by

  • demonstrating different purification methods to improve the reuse possibilities e.g. in geo-construction (raod construction, noice enbankment), composting materials (soil mixture)
  • by cleaning the waste sand by composting method the virgin sand can be replaced by the cleaned surplus foundry sand in composting material
  • reducing the amount of surplus foundry sand to be landfilled

BAT publication describing the implementation of inorganic binder system in ferrous foundries will be made

  • 300 ferrous foundries in EU are expected to change from their current organic binder systems to inorganic binder systems in 5 years after the end of the project

Further informations