BE/MUSES:Moving to Sustainability: Improving and Valuing Materials Flow of the Metal Casting Industry

Project: Research project

Project Details


Ninety percent of all manufactured products contain metal casting. There are over 2600 foundries in the US employing 200,000 people. Industry shipments nearly equal scrap use and over 90% of the sand used to make molds is recycled. Eighty percent of US foundries have less than 100 employees and these foundries are often an integral part of local communities. The goal of this project is to evaluate and improve the materials flows for cast iron foundries thereby identifying sustainable development paths. The project will identify significant reductions in raw materials costs and emissions from advanced oxidation technology, materials substitutions, emissions reduction innovations, and weight reduction strategies and conduct a socio-economic analysis to estimate the value of foundries in a sustainable society.

This project will examine these material flows at several scales, including plants, US industry, and international levels. Material flows will be measured from raw material extraction and preparation, metals casting, and product recovery. These material flows with information on energy, labor, and capital expenditures will provide the basis for cost accounts in an economic optimization model at the plant level. This project assesses the feasibility of new technologies via bench scale experiments, providing technical coefficients for the process optimization model. The least cost set of activities will be solved under private and social cost minimization. Social costs include private and external environmental costs. This model will be used to assess the socioeconomic impact of the U.S. metal casting industry on local communities, the US economy, and the world economy.

Effective start/end date9/15/058/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $1,247,250.00


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