A foundry produces metal castings from either ferrous or non-ferrous alloys. Iron, aluminum, and copper are the primary metals used for casting. Metals are turned into parts by melting them into liquid, pouring in a mold, and then removing the mold material or casting. Chemicals used in the casting process are known as foundry chemicals. Foundry chemicals are used in metal and metallurgical industries. Foundry chemicals include binders, additive agents, coatings, fluxes, metal feeding aids, and hot topping compounds. Foundries produce metal castings, which are employed in sectors such as automotive, construction, heavy machinery, railways, mining, and steel. These chemicals enable foundries to enhance the quality of castings and improve productivity levels. Different types of foundry chemicals are used for casting purposes. These include core and mold binders, sand additives, parting agents, water-based core or mold coatings in various refractory bases, and solvent-based core or mold coatings in various refractory bases.
Core and mold binders are high solid thixotropic refractory dressings with in-built excellent suspension characteristics and anti-settling properties. They are specially recommended for exceptionally smooth casting surface finish and dimensional accuracy for ferrous & nonferrous foundries. Fly ash is the other important replacement and filler in foundry sands used for mold and core production. Fly ash is more suitable than ferrous applications due to the high pouring temperature. Fly ash is suitable for molds and core making for many nonferrous metals such as, Cu-, Al- and Zn- based alloys.
Graphite powder accounts for major share of the foundry chemicals market in terms of demand. It offers good lubrication properties and is used in various applications. The element is rich in carbon; therefore, it offers good electrical conductivity and is used for smooth casting iron, copper base alloys, and aluminum base alloys. Dextrin powder is also a widely used binder for cores in the foundry industry. Different types of dextrin powders are available in the market; of these, yellow dextrin is specially used in foundry works for increasing dry strength. Liquid sodium silicate is versatile, inorganic chemical used as a convenient source of sodium for many industrial products. It is white to greenish opaque crystal in appearance, and is used as an ingredient in electric welding rod. The bentonite powder is the clay mineral with properties like water absorption, hydration, viscosity and swelling used in the foundry industry. These properties makes the mineral multi-application product that finds usage in various industries. The mineral is able to absorb moisture and odor. It finds its application in the fertilizer industry, metal casting, iron ore pelleting, civil engineering applications and drilling.
Phenol is used to produce phenol formaldehyde condensation resins, which are used in different applications such as molds in the foundry industry. Foundry sand is high quality silica sand that is a byproduct of the production of ferrous and nonferrous metal castings. Metal foundries use large amounts of sand as part of the metal casting process.
Based on geography, the global foundry chemicals market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. North America is the dominant region of the foundry chemicals market, led by the increase in demand from automotive and construction sectors. This, in turn, is estimated to boost the market for foundry chemicals. The market in Asia Pacific has been expanding at a rapid pace due to the emerging steel and construction sectors. Rise in new projects and remodeling of the existing buildings are likely to boost the foundry chemicals market in the near future.
Key players operating in the foundry chemicals market are AFFCIL INDUSTRRIES, Yash Chemicals, General Chemical Corp., Ultraseal India Pvt. Ltd., and Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC.