Ceramics is our passion. It enables the manufacture of high-tech products as well as products for everyday life. Due to their special characteristics, technical ceramics are used in numerous industries such as mechanical and plant engineering or medical technology. FastCast Ceramics is your specialist for open-pore technical ceramics.
By combining innovative ideas and new technological approaches, we at FastCast Ceramics have succeeded in developing a sustainable slip agent for the production of high-performance ceramics. With our flexibly applicable high-performance ceramics, we want to make a contribution to enabling the efficient and economical production of high-tech products in the future as well – on an ecological and sustainable basis.
Applications & solutions for investment casting.
Investment casters are faced with numerous challenges. In addition to the production of geometrically complex and demanding geometries, high standards of surface finish must also be achieved. Another challenge is the production speed at which the castings are produced: a limiting factor here is the production of the ceramic shells. Using innovative ideas and technologies, FastCast Ceramics has succeeded in reducing the production time of ceramic shells for investment casting. In addition, the solution is also used to repair cracked shells that have already been manufactured.
Challenges in investment casting
The investment casting process is one of the oldest and most complex casting processes. The complex and filigree components are first produced as wax parts in the injection molding process. These are then glued together to form a wax tree, dipped in a ceramic slip, sanded and dried. This triad currently has to be repeated between 8 and 13 times to produce a sufficiently thick shell. This process is time-consuming, so it currently takes up to 10 full days until the mold shells are ready for casting.
Innovation meets solution
The FastCast Ceramics ceramic slurry significantly simplifies and accelerates this process in the future. Thanks to the fast and crack-free drying of the ceramic slurry, a thicker layer can be applied per dipping process. In addition, the process step of sanding becomes obsolete. This is because the ceramic from FastCast Ceramics has sufficiently high strength for low-defect dewaxing and can be easily separated from the casting after casting. This reduces the time required for mold production using FastCast Ceramics slurry to two to three days.
The FastCast Ceramics solution is a drop-in technology, which is delivered ready-mixed to our customers. This allows a fast and uncomplicated application in existing production lines without the need for retooling.
Benefits for our customers
The use of FastCast ceramic slurry results in numerous advantages in the investment casting process, which uncover great potential for investment casters. On the one hand, the acceleration of the process leads to an increase in capacity. On the other hand, the use of sanding machines is no longer necessary, because the strength of the investment casting shell is achieved by using FastCast Ceramic Slurry even without the sanding step. FastCast Ceramics delivers the slurry premixed and it can be used directly. A time-consuming mixing on site is no longer necessary and investment casters can concentrate on their core competence, casting. Furthermore, the high long-term stability of the slurry allows problem-free storage. Another advantage resulting from the elimination of sanding is the first-time possibility of recycling chipped ceramic shells.
Ceramic glue for investment casting
The manufacture of various products using the investment casting process is complex, demanding and takes a lot of time. If conventional ceramics are used for shell production, up to 13 days can pass from the first dipping process to the finished production of the component. It is not uncommon for cracks to appear in the molded shells after the wax has been melted out. This is not only annoying, but also causes economic damage, because the cracked shells are no longer available for further process steps.
Ceramic mold shells with cracks do not necessarily have to result in rejects, because FastCast Ceramics investment casting adhesive allows these shells to be repaired. For this purpose, the ready-mixed slurry of FastCast is applied to the crack locations and dried. Subsequently, the ceramic shells are available again for the further process steps. FastCast’s investment casting adhesive can be combined with all conventional materials for shell production and can therefore be used flexibly.
Benefits for our customers
The FastCast Ceramics investment casting adhesive enables a low-effort and significant reduction of the scrap rate in investment casting. The shells repaired in this way are available again for the further investment casting process and there is no economic damage.
Solutions for agriculture and farming.
Soil moisture sensors
With a share of about 70%, agriculture has by far the largest water demand worldwide. In order to use the valuable resource water as efficiently as possible in the irrigation of agricultural land, exact irrigation of the plants is necessary. In addition to water-saving effects, this also serves to achieve a maximum crop yield, as plants are damaged in the event of incorrect irrigation and yields decrease.
However, simple moisture sensors used so far only measure how much volume of water is present in the soil. For efficient water management, however, it is crucial to know how much water the plants can actually extract from the soil with their roots. The absorption capacity – also called suction tension – depends strongly on the soil conditions.
By using the ceramic formulation from FastCast Ceramics, an innovative soil moisture sensor was developed in cooperation with an industrial partner, which enables the measurement of plant-available water in different soils. At the heart of the sensor is the porous ceramic disc developed and manufactured by FastCast Ceramics. The wide pore size distribution of the disc allows water from a wide variety of soils to be absorbed and allows measurement regardless of the soil composition. If the ceramic – which has a diameter of about 50 millimeters and a height of 5 millimeters – is embedded in the ground, it simulates the roots of the plants, so to speak. The degree to which the pore-shaped cavities are filled with water allows conclusions to be drawn about the suction tension of the soil. A change in the dielectric behavior of the ceramic discs with a changing water absorption is determined by a new circuit board system. By using this sensor, optimal irrigation can be achieved and the precious resource of water can be used efficiently.
High-performance technical ceramics from FastCast Ceramics.
Ceramic materials have numerous positive technical characteristics. These include high chemical and thermal resistance. FastCast Ceramics are also characterized by exceptionally high (open) porosity with simultaneous high mechanical strength. Ceramics from FastCast Ceramics have pore sizes between 0.2 µm and 50 µm with a porosity of 35 to 75%. Since the principle of capillary suspension works almost independently of the material, we can work with almost all ceramic materials. In addition, we are also flexible in the shaping method.
This results in numerous new areas of application or improvements in processes in which ceramics are already used. In addition to the products currently under development, we are always on the lookout for new areas of application and development partners.
Ecology and economy are in harmony at FastCast Ceramics. Already at the beginning of the product development, ecological aspects have a high priority. We pay attention to the use of environmentally friendly sustainable raw materials and think recycling from the beginning. By using new technologies, we aim to develop environmentally friendly products that provide our customers with added economic value. Following this principle, our material system almost completely does without organics in production.
Efficiency and economy play a central role in processes and the use of resources for every company. The technical ceramics from FastCast Ceramics bring numerous advantages. These include, for example, the use of sustainable raw materials, which generate a high individual benefit for our customers. The added value for the customer is already a central driver during product development. This is also reflected in value-based pricing. In partnership with our customers, we determine the specific added value that is created for them through the use of our ceramics. This approach guarantees that our customers become more profitable and have more resources available to concentrate on their core competencies.
Our goal is to bring forth innovations in the field of ceramics production for various industries and to develop them into usable products. To this end, we make use of the latest findings and technologies from science. With this approach, we have succeeded in producing an innovative ceramic almost free of organic material on the basis of the water-based capillary suspension.
As a team, we at FastCast Ceramics have made it our goal to continuously develop our innovative and environmentally friendly ceramic technology, to distribute it worldwide and to be a reliable partner for our customers. In addition to our high degree of innovative spirit, we are guided on this path by our values and principles. These shape our actions and are based on humanity, fairness and our high level of environmental awareness. These values are expressed in respectful interaction and open communication, both internally and externally.
Centrally anchored in our actions is the passion for ceramics and the vision to further advance the manufacture of high-tech products with the help of technical ceramics through technological innovations. We achieve this vision thanks to our broadly based team, consisting of Moritz, David and Johannes. In addition, numerous student assistants and graduates support us in realizing our vision.
Product development is mainly in the hands of David. His purposeful, calm and determined nature drives FastCast’s product solutions forward every day. After studying mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, he started his doctorate at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) at the end of 2017. In his doctoral thesis, he deals with the development of soil moisture sensors. David likes to spend his free time outside hiking, climbing or cycling.
“Taking the next step on the basis of our research work on porous ceramics and developing innovative as well as sustainable products that generate real added value – that’s just what I feel like doing.”
Wolf G. Wedel
Wolf is responsible for strategy and finance at FastCast. Through his entrepreneurial and economic vision, he always has the vision of FastCast in mind. After studying mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, he was able to further develop his analytical skills as a research assistant at the Technical University of Munich. There he is currently writing his doctoral thesis. The (expectant) family man likes to spend his free time jogging, a good book or his family and friends.
“I’m excited about generating value hand-in-hand with our customers as partners, based on insights from science and creativity, and thereby creating added value for our society.”
Johannes is mainly responsible for sales and marketing at FastCast. As such, he is the first point of contact for our partner and responsible for FastCast’s public relations. After studying at TU Darmstadt, he worked for six years in national and international B2B sales. In April, he decided on a new exciting role at FastCast and has been supporting the team ever since. In his spare time, the (expectant) family man likes to hike in nature, ride his bike or further develop his bass skills.
“Innovations and products that achieve economic as well as environmental improvement magically attract me. FastCast’s ceramics represent just such an innovation.”
Dr. Moritz Weiß
Moritz is not only Managing Director at FastCast, but also takes care of product development. After studying chemical engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), he received his doctorate from KU Leuven. Subsequently, he worked as a post-doc at KIT. It was there that the idea for FastCast was born. Moritz can hardly walk past a volleyball court without playing on it. He also likes to spend his free time in good company with friends.
“At FastCast I work in a super team and can actively accompany the transfer from our research to innovation. Creating sustainable and efficient products from our research work motivates me.”
Student assistants and final year students
Our team is completed by our student assistants and graduates, who actively support us in the realization of our version.