Events and News

AFS Requests Research Proposals to Reduce Silica Exposure

February 16, 2017

The American Foundry Society (AFS) is soliciting research proposals aimed at reducing exposure to respirable crystalline silica through the development of silica suppressant materials and processes in critical areas of metalcasting facilities.        

The new regulations for silica sand respirable dust in U.S. foundries take effect in summer 2018. While AFS is pursuing a legal challenge to the new silica rules, the metalcasting industry must also begin actively planning compliance strategy to be ready for the rules. As part of this strategy, a new AFS ad hoc committee has been formed to look at the impact of the new silica rule on foundries and the supply chain.

This new committee is soliciting proposals to develop materials and processes for suppression of silica dust in critical areas of metalcasting operations. Most foundries have identified the critical areas to be machining and shakeout. Dust suppressants are commercially available but many have an adverse effect, such as reduced tensile strength in cores when used in the core room. While these suppressants will reduce visible dust, the effect on respirable silica is somewhat unknown and requires additional study. 

Research proposals for potential suppressants, procedures and devices will be accepted. Send proposals to AFS Senior Technical Director Steve Robison at For further information or questions, call Robison at 847-824-0181 x227.

Proposals are due by April 15, 2017.

The American Foundry Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.