Increasingly strict regulations, as well as an increased public awareness, are forcing industry, including the foundry industry, to develop new binders for molding sands, which, while being more environmentally friendly, would simultaneously ensure a high quality of castings. Until recently, binders based on synthetic resins were considered to be such binders. However, more accurate investigations indicated that such molding sands subjected to high temperatures of liquid metal generated several harmful, even dangerous substances (carcinogenic and/or mutagenic) from the benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons groups (PAHs). An assessment of the most widely used molding sands technologies at present with organic binders (synthetic resins) from the no-bake group (furan no-bake and phenolic-ester no-bake) and their harmfulness to the environment and work conditions is presented in this paper. In the first stage of this research, gases (from the BTEX and PAHs groups) emitted when the tested molds were poured with liquid cast iron at 1350 °C were measured (according to the authors’ own method). The second stage consisted of measuring the emission of gases released by binders subjected to pyrolysis (the so-called flash pyrolysis), which simulated the effects occurring on the boundary: liquid metal/molding sand. The gases emitted from the tested binders indicated that, in both cases, the emission of harmful and dangerous substances (e.g., benzene) occurs, but, of the given binder systems, this emission was lower for the phenolic-ester no-bake binder. The obtained emission factors of BTEX substances show higher values for furan resin compared to formaldehyde resin; for example, the concentration of benzene per 1 kg of binder for furan no-bake (FNB) was 40,158 mg, while, for phenol-formaldehyde no-bake (PFNB), it was much lower, 30,911 mg. Thus, this system was more environmentally friendly.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited