How sweet it is: A low-cost, eco-friendly binder for metal casters

Nov 13, 2012 | 04:49 PM | Jo Isenberg

Tags  Oregon State University, Kaichang Li, Jian Huang, metal foundry, Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin

For decades, no less a medical authority than Mary Poppins has been advising children and adults alike that a spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down. Today, thanks to a faulty temperature reading on a laboratory baking oven, researchers at Oregon State University are eyeing the commercialization of a new breed of non-toxic, environmentally-benign and cost-effective sand binder based on the therapeutic powers of that same material.

“We were surprised that simple sugar could bind sand together so strongly,” Kaichang Li, a professor of wood science and engineering at Corvallis, Ore.-based Oregon State University (OSU), told Inner Circle. “The binder systems we’ve developed should be much less expensive than existing sand binders and do not pose toxicity concerns,” he added, noting that materials such as furan and phenol formaldehyde resins can emit toxic fumes during the mold-making and metal-casting process.....





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