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Alternatives for Zircon Stucco and Flour

Casting trials have shown Itochu Ceratech Cerabeads 60 sand to be a successful substitute for zircon sand in many cases, but not 100% of the time. A new product from Itochu Ceratech, Cerabeads 70, has proven to be a more universal solution as a zircon sand substitute. A zircon flour substitute of alumina and alumino-silicates has been developed and tried in production tests. This slurry in combination with Cerabeads 70 has proven to be successful in replacing zircon in prime layers. Casting trials are presented.

The price of zircon flour and sand continues to be high and there are some concerns about long term supply. Many foundries desire a zircon substitute for this reason. This paper is a continuation of a paper presented in 2011 at the Fall ICI Technical Conference. Last year Cerabeads 60 was presented as a potential substitute for zircon sand. While this was true in many cases, there were several instances of rough surface or “burn in” in production trials using standard zircon/fused silica slurry. Presumably, these failures were caused by too thin of a prime coating layer or a reaction of the Cerabeads 60 with the fused silica.

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