Revolutionizing Foundry Equipment since 1974

Betz Saves Big with Rotary Sand Reclamation System


Reprinted with permission from FOUNDRY MANAGEMENT & TECHNOLOGY

Betz's two DIDION Model LC-40 Series 4 Rotary Lump Crusher Sand Reclaimers.

Betz Industries in Grand Rapids, MI, is a modern gray and ductile iron no-bake foundry specializing in large dies, patterns, and machine beds for the automotive and heavy machine industries. The plant and offices presently occupy eight acres under roof. When the owners, brothers Karl and Ken Betz both degreed metallurgists, decided to reclaim their disposal sand in 1984, they tested their chemically-bonded lumps at various manufacturers. After careful analysis, they purchased a Rotary Lump Crusher/Sand Reclaimer from DIDION International Inc., St. Peters, MO.


  • Foundry Type Nobake Gray and Ductile Iron
  • Product Type Precision automotive dies, patterns, and machine beds
  • Production Rate 12 tons of castings/hr
  • Typical Sand-to-Metal Ratio 2:1
  • Sand System Size 1700 tons
  • Sand Type/Binder 10% Ottuwa, 90% Lake / furfuryl alcohol
  • Sand Usage 130 tons/hr
  • Year Started Reclaiming 1985
  • Capacity 130 tph
  • Actual Production 120 tph
  • Yield 97%
  • Reclaimed Sand : New Sand 97:3
  • Disposal 3% Dust-No Sand
  • Description of Reclamation System Two (2) vibratory feed conveyors, (2) Rotary Lump Crusher/Sand
  • Purchased During Project Reclaimers, dust collection, distribution panel and installation


Before Reclamation:

  • Cost of New Sand (per ton)
  • Ottuwa Sand 10% $45.00 x 10% = $4.50
  • Lake Sand 90% $20.00 x 90% = $18.00
  • Cost of Sand Disposal (per ton) $13.50
  • Total Cost of Sand (per ton) $36.00
  • Total Cost of Sand (per hour) $4,320.00

After Reclamation:

  • Savings of Sand (per ton) 97% yield $34.92
  • Savings of Sand (per hour) $4,190.40


betz-2Originally, the reclaimed sand was further processed in pneumatic scrubbers until it was later determined that the quality of the reclaimed sand from the Rotary Reclaimer was actually acceptable before the secondary scrubbers.

"This discovery resulted in substantial savings in energy, operational, and maintenance costs. The new system uses 300 less horsepower with double the production of the previous system," said John Keener, foundry engineer of Betz.

betz3In 1999 Betz Industries underwent a major expansion that doubled the size of their foundry. The new 200,000 sq. ft. addition included the installation of two new DIDION Model LC-40 Series 4 Rotary Lump Crusher/Sand Reclaimers, which process 90 tph of Furan bonded sand. This, coupled with the existing production totals 130 tons per hour of reclaimed sand, which makes Betz the largest reclamation plant per hour of chemically bonded sand in the United States.

"Building on the experience from the original plant, the new expansion did not include any secondary scrubbers behind the DIDIONS. The dust collection and maintenance requirements were reduced by 90%. The equipment crushes our large lumps, scrubs, screens and classifies the sand, and automatically separates the tramp metal. Today, we are reclaiming all of our sand through the units at a 97% yield. We no longer dispose of any sand, only 3% dust," said Keener.

Large sand lumps are charged into the Rotary Lump Crusher/Sand Reclaimers by vibratory feed conveyors. Upon entering the machine, high profile flights screw the lumps forward in an expansion chamber designed to relieve the feed conveyor. The lumps then enter the dual chamber attrition section where the lumps are reduced to minus 3/8 in. and the tramp metal is separated. The sand then passes through tapered holes in the wear resistant cast lining and is conveyed back toward the intake end in an outer chamber where screening and primary classification occurs. The oversized agglomerations from the final screen are automatically recirculated back into the feed conveyor for another pass through the machine. The binder and fines are removed through an opening at the top of the screen housing to a baghouse. Dust collection requirements are low (8,000 cfm) per machine due to the closed environment of the drum. The machine rotates on laser aligned bearings for precision tracking and longevity.

"The proven performance and excellent savings ($4,190.40/hour) is why we continue to use DIDION rotary reclamation equipment. Their patented design is very efficient (1 HP/Ton) and requires very little maintenance," said Keener.

betz4The continuous development at the equipment manufacturer has provided Betz Industries with their fourth generation rotary machines which have new serrated liners as well as an internal recirculation system yielding increased capacity and higher efficiencies.

"We currently reclaim up to 130 tons per hour, so higher efficiency is very important to us," concludes Keener.

To learn how a DIDION Rotary Sand Reclamation System can improve the way you do business, please contact us today.