VOC stands for volatile organic compound, substances which are generated during the production and storage of casting cores. The company ASK Chemicals from Hilden, Germany offers solutions tailored specifically to the needs of foundries, in order to support their adherence to the strict limits for emissions.
On the international level, VOC limits are being continually tightened. In Germany, the current limit is 150 mg/m³ and it is to be reduced to 50 mg/m³ over the next eight years. In an international comparison, the national limit for non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC: non-methane hydrocarbons are VOCs without methane), for example in China, is 120 mg/m³. Some provinces have an even tighter limit.
To lower emissions during operations, it is possible, for example, to use highly efficient binding agent technologies to help reduce the organic material. Foundries can use this step to lower emissions during manufacture of the core, while simultaneously lowering the gas pressure during the casting process. Using a highly efficient binding agent also helps to minimise gassing with amine, which leads to less odour and fewer VOC emissions.
It is also possible to use binding agents containing high-boiling solvents. This also reduces odour and VOC emissions during manufacture of the core. Another point of intervention is to optimise process parameters, for example by lowering the temperature of the drying kiln. This not only saves energy costs, but also reduces VOC emissions.
“ASK Chemicals is convinced that ‘less is more’. The use of fewer, more efficient binding agents helps to reduce emissions and to optimise the overall cost of operation”, says Thomas Glattes, Executive Vice President Europe. “We always take the specific carbon footprint of each foundry into consideration. Our solutions are always individually tailored and optimised to meet customer requirements.”
The product portfolio of cold box binding agents, like ECOCURETM SILVER, ECOCURETM SILVER T and the ECOCURETM BLUE family, can be adapted to suit customers’ specific needs. These systems can be combined with water-based coating technology, VOC-free release agents and inorganic mini riser technology to adhere to limit values for emissions.