CERATEC molding materials have been specifically developed for use on thermally stressed casting and core sections to prevent penetration and veining defects. In addition to its use in traditional molding and core-making applications it is also suitable for 3-D printing. The classic molding materials used nowadays such as quartz, chrome ore, and zirconium sands often reach their performance limits. This is due to increasingly complex component geometries giving rise to a higher rate of rejection through poor surface quality with sintered and penetrated sections, which drives the continued development of materials with higher performance.
The development of CERATEC as a special synthetic molding material for use in iron and steel casting is a response to the above-mentioned demands. The molding material, whose grains are almost perfectly spherical, is characterized by optimum flowability during core production, offering improved compaction and strength. Due to its high thermal stability, CERATEC is particularly suitable for preventing sintering or mineralization in core sections that are exposed to a high degree of thermal stress with the required surface quality achieved, preventing the costly re-working and re-grinding of the casting surface. The spherical nature of CERATEC grains offers improved properties, such as high gas permeability, excellent flowability of the sand, and a considerably lower requirement for binders (up to 60%) due to the high compaction and strengths generated. CERATEC is suitable for all binder systems currently in use, and is compatible with both thermal and mechanical regeneration systems. Due to the low level of binder required to achieve the desired bonding of the core or mold emissions of gas from pyrolization are greatly reduced. In combination with the improved gas permeability of the core or mold, casting defects such as gas inclusions are prevented.
Depending on the casting process, above-average surface quality (comparable with the results of ceramic casting) can be achieved with CERATEC due to its high thermal durability, even with the most filigree cores. Compared to quartz sand, the low average coefficient of expansion of 7.2 x 10-6 K-1 within the range of 20–600 °C prevents the formation of veining, and thus also ensures a considerable reduction in cleaning costs.
Stephan Fritz trained as a materials tester specialising in metallurgy and at the same completed his university entrance qualifications, and then studied foundry technology/casting technology in Duisburg and Clausthal-Zellerfeld. From 2005 to 2020 he worked as plant manager for moulding and smelting in a German stainless steel foundry. As plant manager he was responsible for the introduction of a standard sand system based on a synthetic sand. In 2020 he was promoted to production manager, responsible for the entire production including mechanical processing. In 2022, Stephan Fritz moved to GTP Schäfer as product manager for special moulding materials.