Top frequently asked questions

1. What is Cast Clean?

Cast Clean is a modified inorganic binder system, which reduces the environmental impact of foundry operation while preserving the utmost casting quality. 

2. Is Cast Clean compatible with my current operation? 

Cast Clean is compatible with all common foundry sands including silica, olvine, zircon, chromite, ceramic and Diamond Green®. While our advanced Cast Clean Binder Systems provide solutions for many technical challenges we understand that there are no two foundries that are exactly the same. If our standard products do not meet your requirements, we will apply our in-depth knowledge of foundries and binder systems to provide you with a tailor-made solution.

3. What changes will I need to make to my sand to use Cast Clean?

While some adjustments will be necessary, Cast Clean is highly compatible with most foundry operations with nothing more than some modest preparation.
Sand should be clean and dry with as few fines as possible. Use the best sand you can afford. Round grain sands will require less binder and may actually cost less to use as compared to cheaper sub-angular sands. Sand temperature and moisture level should be controlled to assure the most efficient use of any binder.

4. What changes will I need to make to my mixing equipment/operation to use Cast Clean?

Use a good, well-maintained continuous or batch mixer. Clean it daily by flushing water through it. Calibrate the pumps and sand flow daily. The proper amounts of catalyst and binder are critical. Since mixers are the major source of problems we can offer several recommendations for preventing these problems.

5. What changes will I need to make to my existing pumps and hoses to use Cast Clean?

Pumps must be cleaned and calibrated. If another system is in use, pumps must be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate the potential for contamination and the lines should be replaced. Pumps made of cast iron are acceptable. We can give you information on the viscosity of our binders so that proper pump sizes can be calculated. 

6. What changes will I need to make to my mixer blades to use Cast Clean?

Replace them if worn and keep them clean. Dirty or worn blades will create tremendous amounts of friction in the sand and work times can be drastically shortened unexpectedly. Washing out the trough with water can clean the mixing blades.

7. What changes will I need to make to my existing inlet port positions to use Cast Clean?

Position the inlet ports along the trough so that the catalyst enters the sand before the silicate binder. If any other additives are being added, get them in the sand before the catalyst. Make sure that ports do not plug up while the mixer is running.

8. What changes will I need to make to my sand flow rate to use Cast Clean?

Older mixers designed for use with organic resins may need to be run at lower sand flow rates. Check the manufacturer's recommendation and then check with us. We recommend initially running at 75% of rating.

9. What changes will I need to make to my pattern equipment to use Cast Clean?

Like all no-bake systems, inorganics perform best when good pattern equipment is used. 
Wood patterns should be painted with a high-quality pattern paint before use, so that the wood does not soak up the water in the system. Wax fillets are not recommended as the catalyst may soften them. Silicates are very rigid at strip. Any dents, dings and backdraft will make the pattern very difficult to draw.

10. What changes will I need to make to my release agents to use Cast Clean?

Release agents that leave a dry coating on the pattern are best. Our DevSlip works well in most applications.

11. What changes will I need to make to my sand compaction process to use Cast Clean?

Good compaction is critical to produce dense and strong molds. If hand ramming is used, ensure that sand is tucked into any tight corners and narrow pockets. If a compaction table is used, a high frequency, low amplitude type is best. Inorganics may require more ramming than some of the organic binder systems. All of the sand must be in the box and compacted before the end of work time.

12. What changes will I need to make to my work time and strip time if I use Cast Clean?

Work time is defined as the time after mixing the binder, catalyst and sand together within which the sand can be compacted and moved and still produce a good mold. A practical way to tell the end of work time is to look for an increase in the initial strength of the sand or the sand begins to feel more rigid. Strip time is the period when the pattern can be removed from the sand and the mold or core can safely be handled without any slumping or deformation. On the shop floor, the mold should not be stripped until the mold resists complete penetration by a nail, knife or trowel. Stripping can be done with a rollover or manually with a crane or hoist. If a rollover is used, be certain that it clamps and draws evenly. If stripping manually, be sure to pull the pattern as straight as possible.

13. What changes will I need to make to my existing wash operation to use Cast Clean?

Both water-based and alcohol-based washes can be used with J. B. DeVENNE INC.’s.
Binder Systems. Dipping, spraying or hand painting are all effective methods of applying these washes to cores and molds.

14. What happens if Cast Clean just isn’t working?

There are times when the "standard" J. B. DeVENNE INC. Binder System will need enhanced performance. Occasionally, shakeout is not good enough. Penetration occurs or peculiar surface defects are seen. Most of these problems are easy to eliminate once they have been identified. Improved shakeout can be achieved in several ways by using a combination of hybrid fast-setting materials providing good through-cure with moisture resistance. Liquid and dry COBINDERS may be used at 0.25 to 1.0%. However, the use of these products will cut work time and strip times in half. Simply lowering the amount of binder by using better quality sand is often the best way to achieve better shakeout.

15. What are the advantages Cast Clean compared to traditional, organic based binders?

There are many similarities between inorganic no-bake binders and organic no-bake binders. Like all chemical reactions, both systems are affected by temperature changes. Warmer air and sand temperatures accelerate the cure time. Colder temperatures slow down the reaction time.
Both organic resin and silicate no-bake binders contain solvents. In the organic systems, these are generally volatile compounds. Optimum strengths occur after these solvents have evaporated into the atmosphere. Water is not as volatile as many other solvents; therefore, optimum strengths may take a little longer to achieve with a silicate. On the other hand, water is odor free and nonhazardous.
Since it is an inorganic based binder, many casting defects are eliminated by the use of an alkali silicate binder. Veining, erosion, lustrous carbon and gas defects are not seen when using a properly prepared silicate mold or core. Alkali silicates are ideal for low carbon stainless alloys, because carbon pick-up is minimal. In some aluminum casting applications, a properly modified silicate can actually shake out better than organic binders. Alkali silicates work well with all specialty sands including zircon, chromite and olivine.

16. What are the environmental benefits of Cast Clean?

Properly modified silicate based inorganics are known to be the cleanest and safest chemical binders available today. They do not represent any immediate or long-term health hazards. A properly modified silicate based inorganic contains no hazardous components. They are essentially odor free and little or no smoke or fumes are emitted during pouring and shakeout.  Properly modified silicate based inorganics are not considered a VOC. Also, we hear from many foundries using organic binder systems that are facing tremendous pressure from neighbours complaining about the odors emitted by the foundry. Properly modified silicate binders emit virtually no odors or smoke so this problem is eliminated.

17. Does using Cast Clean possess any health benefits for my employees?

J. B. DeVENNE INC. binders contain no phenol, no formaldehyde, no isosyanate, no furan and no phosphates. They are among the absolute safest binders in use. Some of our foundry customers have actually seen a decline in sickness-related absenteeism when they switched from a hazardous organic system to our system. Many people can become sensitized to the hazardous components in the organic binders systems and break out into severe rashes and headaches.

18. What is the cost of Cast Clean compared to traditional, organic binder systems?

Based on past market trends, silicate as a raw material has been stable in price, without the dramatic price fluctuation of many organic binders which are heavily dependent upon oil. Silicates are often less expensive to use than organic resins.
Due to its non-hazardous nature the disposal of silicate-bonded sand is generally easier and less expensive than organic resin bonded sand. Expensive odor abatement equipment is not required with sodium silicate binder systems.

19. Will Cast Clean effect the quality of my products?

Cast Clean produces vein- and defect-free parts with no carbon absorption. Refer to the benefits section for an in-depth explanation of Cast Clean’s advantages and those of organic based binder systems.

20. Is Cast Clean suitable for all casting applications?

Cast Clean has a proven record with a diverse range of metals including stainless steel, ductile and gray iron, high-alloyed iron, magnesium, brass, bronze and aluminum.