Pros & Cons Of Ceramic Sand For Foundry Processes

13 May 2019
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

When it comes to foundry processes, there are a lot of aggregate materials that may be relied on, and sand is one of those materials. Sand is readily available in a variety of forms, from synthetic to natural, but ceramic varieties tend to be some of the most popular. Check out some of the pros and cons of ceramic sand for foundry processes. 

Pro: Ceramic sand is not going to cause environmental concerns. 

One of the biggest reasons ceramic sand is preferred is that it is an environmentally friendly option. In foundry facilities, recapturing aggregate particles is common, but there can also be a fair amount of waste involved no matter how careful you may be. If you are using ceramic sand instead of a more synthetic material, you will not be tossing out something that does not agree with the environment. For example, silica sand can actually cause concerns if you are in close proximity to a body of water because it can be considered a contaminant. 

Con: Ceramic sand sometimes breaks down easier than synthetic versions. 

Ceramic sand is highly resilient, but it can also break down with repeated use, and repeated use is common in foundry processes. While the sand can be recaptured easily because of its rounded shape, it may also collapse easier due to its rounded shape, which makes it illogical for use with high-pressure applications. 

Pro: Sand created from ceramic particles is easily recaptured. 

When sand is used in molding processes for metal, the rounded shape of the ceramic type makes it slip away from a cast a lot easier than some other forms of sound. Basically, the sand particles will roll right out instead of getting stuck in tiny crevices of a cast. This is advantageous because it means you will not have as much waste and you will not be left having to replenish sand quantities as often. 

Con: Ceramic-based sand is smoother so may not work well for heavy abrasive processes. 

If sand is being used as an aggregate for things like sandblasting or smoothing, ceramic sand is not always the right option. While the rounded ceramic granules are preferred for some processes because it is not as abrasive, this can be a potential negative if you need that extra abrasiveness for a really dense metal or material. For example, ceramic sand may not do so well to remove a powder-coated finish on a piece of steel.