Principal investigator: Robert Voigt, Guha Manogharan, Paul Lynch

University: The Pennsylvania State University

Industry partners: Regal Cast; Pennsylvania Foundry Association

The Pennsylvania foundry industry use silica sands for making molds and cores for the manufacture of over 90% of the metal castings produced in the Commonwealth. Recent OSHA regulations have significantly reduced the allowable respirable silica exposure levels for manufacturing employees, forcing Pennsylvania foundries to 1) install expensive engineering controls, or 2) make a complicated transition to costly non-silica aggregates for casting mold and core-making.

There are significant technical hurdles, implementation challenges, and training needs to support Pennsylvania foundries in their transition to sustainable use of non-silica aggregates. It is proposed to lead a focused initiative with the participation of Pennsylvania foundries, the Pennsylvania Foundry Association, US foundry industry technology leaders, and teams at Penn State-University Park and Penn State–Behrend to rapidly accelerate the sustainable deployment of non-silica aggregates in Pennsylvania foundries.