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E – 1164 Foundry Sand Facts for Civil Engineers

Intended Audience: civil, highway, and construction engineers



    Metal foundries use large amounts of sand as part of the metal casting process. Foundries successfully recycle and reuse the sand many times in a foundry. When the sand can no longer be reused in the foundry, it is removed from the foundry and is termed “foundry sand.” Foundry sand production is nearly 6 to 10 million tons annually. Like many waste products, foundry sand has beneficial applications to other industries. The purpose of this course is to provide technical information about the potential civil engineering applications of foundry sand. This will provide a means of advancing the uses of foundry sand that are technically sound, commercially competitive and environmentally safe.

    This course is based on the Federal Highway Administration document, “Foundry Sand Facts for Civil Engineers”, Report No. FHWA-IF-04-004, May 2004.

    Learning Objectives

    At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

    • Foundry sand availability
    • Types of foundry sand
    • Physical, engineering, and environmental characteristics
    • Economics and quality
    • Uses in structural fills and embankments
    • Uses in road bases
    • Uses in hot mix asphalt
    • Uses in flowable fills
    • Uses in Portland cement manufacturing
    • Uses in grouts and mortars
    • Uses in agricultural/soil amendments
    • Uses in vitrification of hazardous materials
    • Uses in smelting
    • Uses in rock wool manufacturing
    • Uses in fiberglass manufacturing
    • Uses in landfill cover or hydraulic barriers

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