Used Foundry Sand in Cement Mortars and Concrete Production

Saveria Monosi, Daniela Sani*, Francesca Tittarelli
Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Fisica, Ingegneria dei Materiali e del Territorio (FIMET), Italy.

© 2010 Monosi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Fisica, Ingegneria dei Materiali e del Territorio (FIMET), Italy; Tel: +39 071 2204726; Fax: +39 071 2204627; E-mail:


Used foundry sands represent the highest amount of solid wastes generated by foundries. Classified by European Union regulations as non hazardous waste, they represent a relevant source to be reused in several industrial sectors, in building construction primarily.

In present paper, the properties of mortars and concretes containing different dosages of used foundry sand (UFS) as partial replacement of sand were investigated in both fresh and hardened conditions. In particular, higher percentages of addition, but lower if referred to the whole aggregate (fine and coarse), were considered in concretes than in mortars. Both mortars and concretes were evaluated with respect to consistency of the fresh mixture and compressive strength of the hardened material. Elastic modulus determination of the hardened material was carried out on concretes.

A low (10%) amount of used foundry sand does not change the mortar's performances. In the presence of higher additions a workability decreasing can be outlined, and then a higher dosage of superplasticizer is required in order to keep it constant. Mechanical performances lower of about 20-30% than those of the conglomerate without used foundry sand are observed. The higher penalization it seems to concern to the conglomerates of better quality (i.e. lower water-cement ratio).

Keywords: Used foundry sand, spent foundry sand, concrete compressive strength, mortar compressive strength, concrete aggregate replacing, mortar aggregate replacing.