Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
- Sector Profile
- Performance Data and Trends for this Sector
- Increasing the Recycling (Beneficial Use) of Foundry Sand
The Metal Casting sector includes establishments that pour molten ferrous metals (iron and steel) or nonferrous metals under high pressure into molds to manufacture castings. Ferrous metal casting includes those castings made with grey iron, ductile iron, malleable iron, and steel. Nonferrous castings are predominantly aluminum but might also be brass, bronze, zinc, magnesium, and titanium.
The United States is the largest producer of cast products in the world. More than 90 percent of all manufactured goods in the United States contain cast metal components. These end-use markets include engine blocks, transmission housings, and suspension parts for cars and trucks; undercarriages of farm and construction equipment; and pipes and valves for plumbing fixtures and boilers. U.S. casting operations are now mostly small businesses, with 80 percent of facilities employing 100 people or fewer.
The metal casting industry is one of the largest recyclers in North America and perhaps the world, saving approximately 15–20 million tons of scrap metal from disposal in landfills and junkyards each year and using this waste as a source of raw material to produce useful products.
Casting Imports and End-use Markets
The table below provides a summary of casting imports to the United States in 2009.
(% of Demand)
|Aluminum Die castings||1,164,825||294,835||25.3|
|Aluminum Permanent Mold/Sand||1,124,909||492,601||43.8|
The table below provides a summary of forecasts for the metal casting import markets in the United States in 2009.
|Internal Combustion Engines||304,814||10.8%|
|Valves and Fittings||245,847||8 %|
|Construction, Mining, and Oilfield Machinery||156,036||5.1%|
You can find data and trends for this sector in the Metal Casting chapter of the most recent Sector Performance Report.
The Metal Casting chapter in Energy Trends in Selected Manufacturing Sectors: Opportunities and Challenges for Environmentally Preferable Energy Outcomes (PDF) (8 pp, 280K, About PDF) outlines the trends and opportunities in energy use for this sector.
In 2008-2009, EPA consulted with a broad group of stakeholders to consider various actions for increasing the beneficial use of foundry sand. This process resulted in the development of a Multi-Stakeholder Action Plan (MAP) that identifies key challenges to increased beneficial use and a comprehensive set of actions aimed at increasing the beneficial use of foundry sands. Over fourteen national organizations have agreed to implement specified actions with the goal of increasing the beneficial use rate to 50% by 2015. EPA's Region 5 (Susan Mooney; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 312-886-3585) is Chairing the Steering Group that is overseeing the implementation of the Action Plan.
- American Foundry Society (AFS)
- North American Die Casters Association (NADCA)
- Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO)
- State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO) are now National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)
- Case Study: Foundry Sand in Land Application (PDF) (3 pp, 108K, About PDF)
- Case Study: Foundry Sand as Structural Fill (PDF) (3 pp, 85.4K About PDF)
- Case Study: Foundry Sand as an Alternative Raw Material in the Manufacturing of Cement (PDF) (3 pp, 102K, About PDF)
- Case Study: Foundry Sand in Land Application (PDF) (3 pp, 81K, About PDF)
- Case Study: Foundry Sand as Backfill Material (PDF) (3 pp, 81.5K, About PDF)
- State Toolkit for Developing Beneficial Reuse Programs for Foundry Sand
- Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand: A Review of State Practices and Regulations (PDF) (64 pp, 4.5MB, About PDF)
- EMS Implementation Guide for the Die Casting Sector (PDF) (215 pp, 1.8MB, About PDF)
- EMS Implementation Guide for the Foundry Sector (PDF) (206 pp, 1MB, About PDF)
- Environmental Management Systems: Systematically Improving your Performance (PDF) (12 pp, 5.5MB, About PDF)
- Industry Sector Notebook: Profile of the Metal Casting Industry (1997) (PDF) (159 pp, 802K, About PDF)