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Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500

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Mechanical and toxicological evaluation of concrete artifacts containing

waste foundry sand
Miguel Angelo Mastella a, Edivelton Soratto Gislon b, Fernando Pelisser a, Cludio Ricken c,
Luciano da Silva a,d, Eldio Angioletto a,c, Oscar Rubem Klegues Montedo a,b,
Programa de Ps-Graduao em Cincia e Engenharia de Materiais PPGCEM, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense UNESC, Av. Universitria,
1105 P.O. Box 3167, 88.806-000 Cricima, SC, Brazil
Grupo de Pesquisa Desenvolvimento de Materiais a partir de Resduos VALORA, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense UNESC, Av. Universitria,
1105 P.O. Box 3167, 88.806-000 Cricima, SC, Brazil
Laboratrio de Desenvolvimento de Materiais Antimicrobianos LADEBIMA, Av. Universitria, 1105 P.O. Box 3167, 88.806-000 Cricima, SC, Brazil
Laboratrio de Pesquisa em Materiais LAPEM, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense UNESC, Av. Universitria, 1105 P.O. Box 3167, 88.806-000 Cricima, SC, Brazil

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The creation of metal parts via casting uses molds that are generally made from sand and phenolic resin.
Received 5 August 2013 The waste generated after the casting process is called waste foundry sand (WFS). Depending on the mold
Accepted 2 February 2014 composition and the casting process, WFS can contain substances that prevent its direct emission to the
Available online 25 February 2014
environment. In Brazil, this waste is classied according to the Standard ABNT NBR 10004:2004 as a
waste Class II (Non-Inert). The recycling of this waste is limited because its characteristics change signif-
Keywords: icantly after use. Although the use (or reuse) of this byproduct in civil construction is a technically fea-
sible alternative, its effects must be evaluated, especially from mechanical and environmental points of
Foundry sand
Concrete blocks
view. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the use of WFS in the manufacture
Toxicity of cement artifacts, such as masonry blocks for walls, structural masonry blocks, and paving blocks.
Mechanical properties Blocks containing different concentrations of WFS (up to 75% by weight) were produced and evaluated
using compressive strength tests (35 MPa at 28 days) and toxicity tests on Daphnia magna, Allium cepa
(onion root), and Eisenia foetida (earthworm). The results showed that there was not a considerable
reduction in the compressive strength, with values of 35 2 MPa at 28 days. The toxicity study with
the material obtained from leaching did not signicantly interfere with the development of D. magna
and E. foetida, but the growth of the A. cepa species was reduced. The study showed that the use of this
waste in the production of concrete blocks is feasible from both mechanical and environmental points of
2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction waste. According to McIntyre et al. (1992), the production of a

ton of cast metal generates approximately one ton of waste. Data
In the casting manufacturing process, a metal or a metallic alloy from the Brazilian Casting Association (Associao Brasileira de
in the liquid state is poured into a mold that contains a cavity with Fundio, ABIFA) indicate that 3.3 million tons of cast metal was
the shape and measurements corresponding to the piece to be pro- produced in Brazil in 2011. Thus, in 2012 alone, the Brazilian cast-
duced. One of the inherent problems of this process is that, after a ing industry generated approximately 3 million tons of waste foun-
specic number of repetitions, the mixture made from sand and dry sand (WFS).
usually phenolic resin loses the properties necessary for the fabri- In Brazil, this waste is classied as a Class II (Non-Inert) waste
cation of other molds, thus generating a signicant amount of according to the Standard ABNT NBR 10004:2004. The Brazilian
environmental legislation determines that these wastes must be
deposited in controlled industrial landlls or incinerated. This
requirement poses a serious environmental problem due to not
Corresponding author at: Programa de Ps-Graduao em Cincia e Engenharia
only the elevated volume produced but also the toxic substances
de Materiais PPGCEM, Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense UNESC, Av.
Universitria, 1105 P.O. Box 3167, 88.806-000 Cricima, SC, Brazil. Tel. +55 (48) found within the WFS, as the sand is contaminated by several dan-
3444 3734; Fax: +55 (48) 3431 2650. gerous chemical elements such as heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium,
E-mail address: (O.R.K. Montedo).
0956-053X/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1496 M.A. Mastella et al. / Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500

lead, and mercury) and organic compounds such as phenols (Klin- olubilize the extracted contents, which were then transferred to
sky, 2008). small glass receptacles. The lids were left slightly open to allow
Among the various existing possibilities for reuse, rendering the remainder of the solvent present in each sample to evaporate.
this waste inert in a cement matrix, such as in the production of The samples extracted by the different types of solvents were then
concrete, is highlighted because not only is it more economical, analyzed using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy FTIR (Shi-
but it also helps to reduce the disposal problems (Siddique and madzu IR Prestige 21, Tokyo, Japan). Weight loss of the waste was
Singh, 2011). However, it is important to evaluate the toxicological analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA Q500, TA Instru-
activity of the manufactured products as well as their mechanical ments, USA; 10 C min 1 in nitrogen). The crystalline faces of the
properties to prevent their impact on the environment. waste were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD, Shimadzu, mod-
Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the el LABX XRD-6000, Tokyo, Japan; 2h = 5 to 85, 2 min 1, Cu Ka1
addition of WFS on the manufacture of cement artifacts. radiation, 30 kV, 30 mA). The experimental plan used in this study
is shown in Table 1 and was based on a 23 factorial plan with three
2. Materials and methods central points using the following variables: concentration of ce-
ment (3 levels and 3 replicates), concentration of green sand and
The WFS used in this study was obtained from the Coopermetal concentration of foundry waste (3 levels and 3 replicates), and cur-
foundry (Cricima, SC, Brazil) and was used as received. The gran- ing time (3 levels and 3 replicates). The observed responses were
ulometric characteristics of this waste (Fig. 1) were concentrated the compressive strength and toxicity. The objective was to obtain
predominantly in the range from 212 to 300 lm (d50 = 226 lm, a minimum compressive strength of 35 MPa to meet the lower lim-
determined by sieving), which may be considered appropriate for it established by the Standard ABNT NBR 9781:2013, in addition to
the manufacture of cement artifacts (Silva et al., 2011; Rocha meeting the environmental control parameters (Standard ABNT
et al., 2011). The chemical analysis of the waste was performed NBR 10004:2004, Standard ABNT NBR 10005:2004, and Standard
using two methods: X-ray uorescence (XRF, Philips PW 2400, ABNT NBR 10006:2004). Five test samples of each composition
Eindhoven, The Netherlands) and the continuous solvent extrac- were prepared and properly stored for curing for 28, 56, and
tion method in order to identify the presence of residual phenolic 91 days. The axial compressive strength of the test samples at
compounds from the phenolic resin existing in the WFS. The con- the ages of 28, 56, and 91 days was determined according to the
cern about phenolic compounds is related to their solubility in Standard ABNT NBR 9781:2013 in a universal machine of mechan-
water. Possible leaching of phenolic compounds from the cimenti- ical tests (EMIC PC200CS, So Jos dos Pinhais, PR, Brazil). Graphi-
cious artifacts studied in this work could lead to a signicant envi- cal and statistical analyses are both important in the analysis of
ronmental impact. So, the continuous extraction technique was data (Dean and Voss, 1999). Statistical analysis quanties the rela-
used to identify the organic components present in the waste, tive responses of the factors, thus clarifying conclusions. In this
based on the use of solvents with different polarities in the extrac- sense, linear models to model the response and the method of least
tion process. The intention was to make possible the extraction of squares may be used for obtaining estimates of the parameters in
different organic compounds fractions present in waste. In this the model. So, tests of statistical signicance were used to identify
study, different organic solvents were used: dichloromethane which obtained results of the study contained enough information
(CH2Cl2), ethyl acetate (CH3COOCH2CH3), hexane (C6H6), and etha- to be considered important in the analysis. Among others, p-value
nol (C2H5OH). For this method, 600 g of the waste were dried at takes an important role. The p-value of a test is the probability (the
85 C for 24 h in a laboratory dryer in order to guarantee enough smallest choice) of a signicance level that would allow the null
material for possible repetition of experiments. Next, each of the hypothesis to be rejected (Dean and Voss, 1999) and was used to
three chosen solvents was tested with a 20 g-sample of waste. evaluate the effect of WFS content on compressive strength. The
The extractions were performed using a Soxhlet apparatus. The toxicity of the test samples was evaluated using different tech-
soxhlet extractor enables solids to be extracted with fresh warm niques for composition C1 at 91 days (curing time). According to
solvent that does not contain the extract. This can dramatically in- Brazilian Standard ABNT NBR 10004:2004, toxicity is the potential
crease the extraction rate, as the sample is contacting fresh warm property that the toxic agent is capable to cause, a greater or lesser de-
solvent. A detailed description of this method may be found in Vo- gree, an adverse effect as a consequence of its interaction with the
gel and Tatchell, 1996. After the extraction, three trials of the ex- organism. The acute toxicity was evaluated according to the Stan-
tract from each solvent were combined and placed in a 1 L dard ABNT NBR 12713:2009 using Daphnia magna. The acute
beaker to concentrate the extract on a hot plate. The respective sol- lethality test was performed with earthworms (Eisenia foetida).
vent used in the extraction was added to each of the beakers to res- Prior to the test, the earthworms were kept on lter paper moist-
ened with distilled water for a period of 24 h to purge their intes-

110 100
100 Table 1
Distributive fraction (%)
Cumulative fraction (%)

90 80 Compositions of the tested mixtures: C cement; An green sand; Af WFS;

80 P gravel.
a b 60 Mixtures Composition (wt%)
50 C An Af P
40 a
40 M1AC1 22 68 0 10
30 M2AC1 22 51 17 10
20 20 M3AC1 22 34 34 10
10 M5AC2 17 73 0 10
M6AC2 17 55 18 10
0 0
M7AC2 17 36.5 36.5 10
< 125 125-150 150-180 180-212 212-300 300-500 > 500
M9AC3 13 77 0 10
Particle size range (m) M10AC3 13 58 19 10
M11AC3 13 38.5 38.5 10
Fig. 1. Particle size distribution of: (a) WFS and (b) representative sand used in
Brazilian concretes. Standard composition.
M.A. Mastella et al. / Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500 1497

tinal contents. The E. foetida individuals were directly exposed to 2750 Q

the solubilized extract from each of the studied compositions. 2500 Q

The solubilized extracts were prepared from the studied composi- 2250

Intensity (cps)
tions 0% AF (standard composition), 25% AF, 50% AF, 75% AF, and
100% AF (waste). Each composition was dissolved in distilled water 1500
(concentration of 1000 mg/L). Moreover, distilled water was used 1250
as negative. So, 1.5 mL of each extract was used according to the 1000
Standard OECD 207/1984 (Filter Paper Test). The test temperature 750 Q Q Q
was 20 2 C. Tests were done in the dark and for a period of 48 h 500 Q
with a further mortality assessment after 72 h. Finally, the sub-
acute toxicity test was performed with onion bulbs (Allium cepa) -250
according to the proposal of Fiskesjo (1985). Prior to exposing 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70
the onions to the solubilized extract, the old roots were eliminated, 2 angle (degrees)
the meristem was maintained and each bulb was individually
weighed. The onions were exposed in Falcon tubes, with six repe- Fig. 2. The XRD pattern of the waste: Q quartz.
titions for each treatment. The treatments included dilutions of
100%, 50%, and 25% of the solubilized fraction from each sampling
station and a control test using only distilled water. The tests were bons. Fig. 3 shows the degradation products that can result from
stored in an incubator at 22 C without light for 7 days. After this this process.
period, the onion roots were removed and weighed again, and Fig. 4 shows the FTIR spectra obtained from the different ex-
the length of the roots (in mm) was measured. All of the tests were tracted fractions. In the FTIR spectra, the deformations of the con-
static, with the solubilized extract being replaced daily with dis- nections between the atoms in the analyzed molecule can be
tilled water. The results from the toxicity tests on the onion were observed. For example, the FTIR analysis of the water molecule
analyzed using Past software (Hammer et al., 2001). To statisti- would show only deformations from the oxygenhydrogen bonds
cally verify the differences in the percentage variation of the (OAH). The deformations may be classied as axial deformations
weight and the root growth of the onion bulbs, the Analysis of Var- (deformation along the bond axis) or angular deformations (alter-
iance (ANOVA) test was used between groups. The Tukey test was ation of the bond angle). For the analyzed samples, there are signs
used to identify which treatments differed from each other. of the axial deformation that is characteristic of the oxygenhydro-
gen bond in the region of 3430 cm 1. The axial deformations that
are typical of CAH bonds were also observed in the region of
3000 cm 1, typical of hydrocarbons. The axial deformation that is
3. Results and discussion typical of C@O bonds was also observed in the region of
1700 cm 1. However, the spectra are not typical of a carboxylic
Table 2 shows the result from the chemical analysis of the WFS. acid, as would be expected for phenols. These results corroborate
This table shows the major presence of the element silicon (96% by an aliphatic structure because aromatic compounds were not iden-
weight) in the form of SiO2 (quartz), which was conrmed by X-ray tied and suggest the presence of formaldehyde. This compound,
diffractometry (SiO2, JCPDS card no. 146-1045) in Fig. 2, verifying which is slightly soluble in water, should not signicantly interfere
that the WFS has the typical composition of sand. Additionally, with the results from the solubilization and leaching tests. More-
the elements aluminum, iron, sodium, and titanium were over, this method was used to identify the chemical nature of the
identied. organic compounds, specially the presence of residual phenolic
To determine the overall organic components present in the compounds, since a phenolic resin based foundry sand was used
waste by the continuous extraction method, the concentration of as mentioned previously. Phenolic compounds are water soluble
volatile material was rst determined by subjecting three samples and the WFS-based concrete artifacts could contaminate the
of the dry waste to calcination. After calcination, a reduction in the groundwater. Nevertheless, as demonstrated, the studied WFS
sample mass of 1.21 0.05 wt% was observed. This reduction was showed no presence of phenolic compounds, but compounds with
associated with the presence of organic compounds derived from very low solubility in water like formaldehyde. So, it is expected
phenolic resin. According to the study performed by Trick and Sali- that a cimenticious matrix can become those compounds inert
ba (1995), the pyrolysis of phenolic resin releases cresol or phenol reducing their environmental impact. On the other hand, taking
that, during the degradation process, dehydrates and releases into account the aim of this work, volatiles should not assume an
hydrocarbons. Therefore, the waste identied in the calcination important role in this work, because the waste are supposed to
of the WFS used in this study could be phenol, cresol, or hydrocar- be used at room temperature. In fact, volatiles volatilize in a tem-
perature range of 300600 C, as it can be seen in Fig. 5, and repre-
sent no danger of inhalation. So, although the purpose of this
Table 2
section was to identify the organic compounds present in the ex-
Chemical analysis of the WFS.
tracts obtained in extraction process and not to identify formalde-
Oxide Content (wt%) Oxide Content (wt%) hyde, the conclusion was that formaldehyde was the main
Al2O3 0.45 SiO2 96.12 compound of the extracts.
CaO 0.08 TiO2 0.11 Fig. 6 shows the effect of the composition and curing time on
Fe2O3 0.37 BaO
the compressive strength of the test samples cured for 28, 56,
K2O <0.05 Cr2O3
MgO 0.06 PbO
and 91 days. The results are consistent with those expected for
MnO <0.05 SrO the concentration of cement used: the greater the concentration
Na2O 0.19 ZrO2 + HfO2 of cement in the sample, the greater the compressive strength.
P2O5 <0.05 Loss of ignition 0.47 These results are in agreement with those obtained by Reddi
Others (As, Cd, F , Hg, Ag, Se, Cl , Cu, Zn)a 2.05
et al. (1996), Khatib and Ellis (2001), Naik et al. (2003), and Naik
According to Standard ABNT NBR 10004:2004, Standard ABNT NBR 10005:2004, et al. (2004). Moreover, Table 3 shows that the p-value of curing
and Standard ABNT NBR 10006:2004. time was lower to 0.05 demonstrating an important signicance
1498 M.A. Mastella et al. / Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500





Fig. 3. The degradation of phenolic resin.


Compressive strength (MPa)

Transmittance (arbitrary scale)

45 C1
Ethyl acetate
Dichloromethane C3
Hexane 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
Amount of waste substituted (%)
4000 3600 3200 2800 2400 2000 1600 1200 800 400
wavenumber (cm-1) 65
Compressive strength (MPa)

Fig. 4. The FTIR spectra of the samples extracted by different solvents.
55 C1

99.9 C2
Weight loss (wt%)

99.7 30
99.6 25

99.5 20

99.4 15
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
Amount of waste substituted (%)
65 (c)
Compressive strength (MPa)

0 200 400 600 800 1000 60

T (oC) 55 C1
Fig. 5. Thermogram (TGA) of the waste.
level of this variable related to the outcome compressive strength. 25
As expected, the average strength at 56 days was 17% greater than 20
that at 28 days; there was an insignicant increase at 91 days. 15
When considering the effect of the composition, the mixture with 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55
the highest concentration of cement had a strength of approxi- Amount of waste substituted (%)
mately 45 MPa at 28 days, and the compositions with medium
Fig. 6. The effect of the amount of waste substituted and the curing time on the
and low cement concentrations had strengths of 35 MPa and compressive strength of the obtained slabs: (a) 28 days; (b) 56 days; and (c)
25 MPa, respectively. In this case, Table 3 shows that the p-value 91 days.
of WFS content show low signicance level related to the outcome
compressive strength (p-value >0.05). The same behavior was
demonstrated when it is considered the inuence of both variables,
curing time and WFS content, changing in the same time; i.e., WFS at 56 days. Similar results were obtained by Siddique et al.
content in substitution of green sand does not interfere in the com- (2009). In that study, the control mixture (without adding WFS)
pressive strength behavior. Considering the recommendations had a compressive strength of 28.5 MPa at 28 days, whereas the
from the Standard ABNT NBR 9781:2013, it can be concluded that mixtures containing 10%, 20%, and 30% WFS had compressive
composition C1 would meet the design strength of 35 MPa at strengths of 29.7, 30.0, and 31.3 MPa, respectively. The increase
28 days and that composition C2 would meet the design strength in the compressive strength with the increasing amounts of WFS
M.A. Mastella et al. / Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500 1499

Table 3 Table 4 shows the results from the toxicity test performed with
Statistical analysis (ANOVA) for the effect of curing time and substituted waste D. magna, earthworms (E. foetida), and onion root (A. cepa). This ta-
content in the concrete.
ble shows that the samples tested were toxic to D. magna in all
Search of variation P-value concentrations because the maximum permissible number (stan-
Curing time (days) 0.02091 dard) is 4 dead individuals according to Resolution FATMA No.
Substituted waste content (wt%) 0.60403 017 (04/18/2002). However, the waste alone showed a toxicity fac-
Curing time (days)  substituted waste content (wt%) 0.98909 tor of 1 dead individual. Thus, the sensitivity demonstrated by D.
magna was most likely caused by the presence of cement and not
of the waste, or this test did not show sufcient sensitivity to dif-
ferentiate the toxicological effect induced by the waste. Thus, other
could be attributed to the lower granulometric characteristics of
toxicity tests (e.g., for onion root, lettuce seed, and earthworm) are
the sample in relation to the standard sand (Fig. 1), which resulted
necessary to better understand the toxicological effect. The results
in a denser concrete matrix.
of the test toxicity for WFS and the cement artifacts suggest that
The results show that substituting 25% and 50% of common
the cement is the determinant for the toxicity factor because the
sand (green sand) with WFS maintained the same average com-
waste alone showed a toxicity factor of 1. On the other hand, the
pressive strength, as can be observed in Fig. 6 and Table 3. The
combined toxicological effect provoked by WFS and cement was
small average increase in strength when substituting 25% of the
not evaluated in this work. In fact, compositions containing higher
common sand with WFS may have been caused by the packing fac-
cement contents could reduce the pH of the solvent (distilled
tor in the use of two types of sand with a discontinuous granulo-
water) causing the solubilization of heavy metals present into
metric distribution (Das, 1998). However, the most important
the WFS. Thus, the heavy metals concentration in the extracts
fact is that this WFS did not cause any signs of deterioration as
could interfere in the metabolism of the D. magna. However, it
measured by the strength at an advanced age of 91 days, in con-
can be noticed that the higher the WFS content, the lower the
trast to that observed by other investigators (Silva et al., 2011).
number of dead individuals. So, a deeper study must be done to
According to the previous study, which employed WFS to obtain
evaluate the synergistic effect of WFS and cement in the metabo-
mortars, adding this waste had a signicant impact on the perfor-
lism of the D. magna. For the acute toxicity test in earthworms
mance of the studied mortars. In that study, adding WFS caused a
(E. foetida), Table 4 shows that the animals were sensitive to the
marked reduction in the compressive strength compared to the
solubilized fractions tested. The sensitivity of the onion root to
reference mixture, resulting in excessive expansion with cracking.
the presence of the waste was shown to be statistically signicant,
The satisfactory behavior of WFS for the manufacture of concrete
and the root length decreased as the waste concentration in-
artifacts in this study may be associated with the process of obtain-
creased. The average maximum root length obtained was for 25%
ing the waste or the production method. The behavior as a function
substitution with WFS, as the values for both the standard compo-
of aging of the samples demonstrated that the strength of these
sition (0% substitution) as well as for 50% substitution were very
tested pieces increases over time. Furthermore, the use of waste
close. The test with the waste alone had the lowest root length,
in the place of natural sand translated into a gain in strength, par-
which suggests that the growth of the roots is inhibited in the pres-
ticularly at substitutions of 25%. With the substitution of 50% WFS,
ence of pure waste. This result indicates that the mixture with ce-
the results are comparable to those without adding WFS. There-
ment is effective at decreasing the effects caused by the waste by
fore, adding the waste does not harm the compressive strength
decreasing the toxicological effect.
property, which was also observed by Naik et al. (2004) and Siddi-
Table 5 shows the Tukey pairwise comparisons. The highlighted
que and Singh (2011). Finally, these results are important if the
groups show signicant differences when compared to the waste.
environmental benets achieved with the use of this waste are ta-
Comparing the results from the performed toxicity tests shows
ken into account.
that there is agreement between the results obtained for D. magna

Table 4
Comparative results of the toxicity tests.

Substituted waste content Daphnia magnaa Eisenia foetidab Mean length of the onion roots (mm)
Negative (distilled water) 0 0/10 33 23
0 wt% Af (Standard, 100 wt% green sand) 12 3/8 27 21
25 wt% Af 16 6/10 33 20
50 wt% Af 12 7/10 26 18
75 wt% Af 6 6/10 23 14
Waste (Af) 1 0/10 12 8
Dead specimens.
Number of dead specimens/exposed specimens.

Table 5
Tukey pairwise comparisons: lower diagonal Q, upper diagonal (p-value).

Composition Af 75 wt% Af 50 wt% Af 25 wt% Af An Negative

Waste (Af) 0.0000334 0.0000204 0.0000203 0.0000203 0.0000203
75 wt% Af 6.925 0.887 0.0004826 0.000176 0.5862
50 wt% Af 8.461 1.537 0.02641 0.01209 0.9949
25 wt% Af 12.8 5.872 4.336 0.9999 0.1143
0 wt% (An) 13.14 6.215 4.679 0.3427 0.0613
Negative (water) 9.214 2.289 0.7524 3.584 3.926
1500 M.A. Mastella et al. / Waste Management 34 (2014) 14951500

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