Reclaimed sand is the process of reusing and reconditioning of the used sand in foundry without eliminating its original properties. Sand gets chemically reacted on each sand particle, it acts as an inert element after it is used once. Grain modification is an important aspect of reclaimed sand. During reclamation, friction takes place between sand particles and also against the surfaces of the equipment in which sand grains are added. In order to reduce the wastage of lost sand grains in foundries, sand reclamation needs to be done through various processes in order to meet the requirements and to save money.
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Efficiency of the sand reclamation process depends on various factors such as sand to metal ratio in the mixer, equipment quality, and controlled dosage of resins and catalysts in the sand mixer during the reclamation process. Major advantages of sand reclamation include low requirement of new sand in foundry operations, conservation of natural resources, better surface texture and shape of the sand grains, reduction in binder and catalyst requirements, and less disposal of waste sand. The reclaimed sand market can be segmented based on reclamation solutions, equipment type, applications, and region. Sand reclamation solutions can be classified into mechanical reclamation, dynamic reclamation, and thermal reclamation. Mechanical reclamation process is the commonly used solution to reclaim sand efficiently. It includes the rubbing of sand grains against each other through fluidization or vibration. The whole process requires a mechanical reclamation tower.
Thermal reclamation solution is a combination of mechanical reclamation with application of heat in a gas fired fluidized bed to get reclaimed sand. The process includes heating of the reclaimed sand from mechanical attrition to 800 degrees Celsius with a cooling unit to get highly purified sand particles. Thermal reclamation system consists of several units such as pneumatic transporter, lump reducer, combustion chamber with sand preheater, air preheater, screw feeder, dust extraction system, and fluidized bed cooler. The reclaimed sand obtained through mechanical, dynamic, or thermal reclamation processes is extensively used in a variety of foundry applications, in the chemical industry, and in the commercial and residential sectors.
Purity of thermally reclaimed sand is higher than that of mechanically reclaimed sand. Thermally reclaimed sand is nowadays widely used in several industrial and chemical applications owing to its lower thermal expansion, causing better mold stability as compared to the mechanically reclaimed sand. Restraints of the reclaimed sand market include the high cost of thermal reclamation method and the high risk of accidents associated with the process. Key drivers of the reclaimed sand market are the rising demand for purified sand from foundry applications, shortage of industrial grade sand globally, and conservation of the environment.
In terms of geography, demand for reclaimed sand is high in the countries of Asia Pacific such as China, India, and Japan due to the developing chemical, foundry, and metal industries. High rate of urbanization in Asia Pacific is also responsible for the growth of the reclaimed sand market in the region. The recovering economy of North America and Europe with emphasis on industrial and infrastructure development is estimated to drive the reclaimed sand market in these regions. Growth of the reclaimed sand market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is projected to be moderate owing to the decelerating economy and low industrial development in the regions.
Key players operating in the reclaimed sand market include Sibelco Group, Lafarge-Holcim, Tochu Corp., Parthenon Resources, and Iluka Resources.
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