In the foundry industry there is a lot of rhetoric and jargon that gets passed around, particularly concerning sustainability. Often companies are using inaccurate terminology to describe manufacturing processes as more ‘green’ than they actually are. Certain manufacturers and fabricators will label products as “eco-friendly” and yet end up using materials that are less than environmentally conscious. One example is the use of high-density urethanes combined with metals, creating composite plaques. They are not only of a lower quality, they are not recyclable and most end up in landfills.
a crucible heating up and melting bronze
At Behrends, both quality and attention to the environment are factors that are crucial to our manufacturing work. Not a lot of people realize it but true metal casting is one of the first industries to engage in recycling initiatives simply due to the fact that we can easily melt down and recover a number of different types of materials for reuse. Additionally, we are able to produce fully recyclable products for clients in general because of the purity of our materials. According to a 2001 study, the metal-casting industry, as a whole, was the fourth largest contributor to the recycling manufacturing economy in the United States.
scraps of aluminum being reclaimed and recycled
Beyond recycling, foundries also reduce pollution and save energy in a number of crucial ways- methods that are taken seriously to add to the green face of the industry. Not only are foundries able to divert valuable materials away from waste to be reused by other industrial players, it also reduces the burden on landfills and the need to excavate raw materials. Using recycled materials in casting also reduces the amount of energy used in the manufacturing process. Not only does it reduce the energy used for mining, but also in terms of refining and other processes associated with casting production.
a pile of off-cuts ready to be recycled
At Behrends, we use advanced sand reclamation technology which allows us to recycle the majority of our sand and reduce the amount that goes to the landfill. Our higher quality sand produces finer casts that require less energy consumption in terms of finishing. Finally, we choose to partner with companies whose values are in line with ours and who strive to put the environment as a top priority in their work. With a high percentage of recycled materials in our cast products, reduced energy and raw materials cost, recovery and recycling at the end of product life, Behrends manufacture cast products with a strong commitment to environmental advocacy.