Environmental Filter | November 18th, 2020
Dust collection technology is used to help so many industries including foundries. But what are foundries and how is dust collection involved?
What are Foundries?
A foundry is a place that manufactures a variety of metal materials through the use of molds and casts. Metals are melted and refined, then poured into a mold. Types of metals that are processed within a foundry include: aluminum, iron, steel, copper, bronze, brass, etc. Like welding, the industry has been around for quite some time. One of the first objects cast was a copper frog in Mesopotamia. Early weapons such as cannons and swords were made by casting. With such a long history, listed below are a few major advancements that further enhanced the foundry industry.
• 1709 – Foundry Flask & Blast Furnace developed by Abraham Darby
• 1740 – Casting of Steel with Crucibles by Benjamin Huntsman
• 1794 – Metal Clad Furnace developed by John Wilkinson to produce more accurate guns/cannons
• 1797 – Cast Plow invented by Charles Newbold
• 1876 – First Aluminum Castings
• 1899 – First Electric Furnace
The very first foundry established in the U.S. was Saugus Iron Works. It manufactured things like tools, weapons, horseshoes, etc. At the time, most iron goods were manufactured over in Europe. This building still stands today in Massachusetts and serves as a reminder of early Colonial America. In fact, seven signers of the Declaration of Independence were foundrymen (Charles Carroll, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Philip Livingston). During 1750, the Iron Act was established causing tension between the U.S. and Great Britain. 
Early foundries helped in the establishment of railroads by manufacturing tracks. During WWII, foundries were used in the creation of weapons such as tanks and other materials for war.
Over 90% of “durable goods include castings.”  The automotive, aerospace, industrial, construction, and so many other industries depend on foundries. Today, the foundry industry is worth over $30 billion in the U.S.  Like other manufacturers, there is an increase in technological advancements. 3D printing which can help create molds and cores, and computer simulations just to name a few.
Much like mining, there have been discussions on the impact of foundries on the environment. Though emissions from these industrial sites have been regulated by the EPA, there is still the question of how harmful it is to the environment. The issues “associated with the industry are – emission of harmful and poisonous gases, dust particles, and generation of waste pollutants.” 
The Role of Dust Collection
Like other industries, foundries require dust collection to keep the workspace free of harmful particulate. Most dusts generated from this application are particularly hazardous. During production, workers can be exposed to dust and fumes. It also depends on what type of casting is used. For example, sand casting involves silica materials which produces silica dust that is very harmful to one’s health. Silica dust can lead to silicosis, a lung disease caused by long-term inhalation of crystalline silica dust. Other fine particulate can come from processes such as the welding and grinding of metal.
Since dust particle size varies depend on the process, “the selection of equipment to collect the given dust will depend in great part on the particle size, shape, density, and concentration range of the material to be collected.” 
At Environmental Filter, we manufacture dust collector cartridge filters for many applications including foundries. Contact us today and let us know how we can be of service to your dust collection needs.