Autokast set to make bricks from silica sand

Samples of the brick made from silica sand by Autokast Ltd.

Samples of the brick made from silica sand by Autokast Ltd.

Autokast Ltd., a ferrous foundry manufacturing unit in the public sector, is set to begin the commercial production of eco-friendly bricks for the construction sector.

It will make bricks from waste foundry sand, which is rich in silica using a technology developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST).

V.K. Praviraj, managing director, Autokast Ltd., said they had already made brick samples and hoped to start mass production before the end of this month.

Officials said the CSIR-NIIST was conducting trials to fix various parameters before the commencement of commercial production. "A team from CSIR-NIIST, the technology partner of the project, is expected to visit Autokast this week. They will make 3,000 bricks in our presence as part of transferring the technology. We will pay a fee for using their technology," said Mr. Praviraj.

The brick manufacturing unit has a capacity to produce 4,000 bricks per day. Officials, however, said the initial production would be around 1,500 bricks per day. The plant is expected to reach full production capacity over a period of time.

Autokast generates around 700 tonnes of foundry waste sand every month. According to officials, it has, at present, a huge deposit of silica sand that can produce 1.5 lakh high-strength bricks. The CSIR-NIIST technology uses cement bonding and compression moulding technique to make bricks from waste sand.

The Cherthala-based State PSU is looking for builders to buy the bricks. “We have already received some enquiries. The bricks made from silica sand are eco-friendly and we expect the product will be well received by the market,” said an official of Autokast Ltd.

Autokast, which was once listed for privatisation, is on a revival path. Recently it manufactured Casnub bogies for Indian Railways, supplied deck-mounted closed chocks and cast iron bricks for solid ballast (used to maintain stability) to INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, superheater header castings in machined condition to the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchirappalli and so on.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 6:52:37 am |