Kerphalite™ KF : moulding material for precision casting

Casting, Plant & Technologie, December2016

Casting, Plant & Technology, December 2016

In its December edition Casting, Plant and Technology International  published the following article about the key role of Kerphalite KF for precision casting written by Joachim Wolff (Imerys Refractory Minerals), Sabine Umla-Latz and Martine Dahlmann (Hüttenes-Albertus).

Complex cast parts such as turbocharger housings play a central role in the design of modern high-performance engines. Due to its particular characteristics, silica sand has its limits as a moulding material when it comes to casting finely structured components, reduced wall thicknesses and perfect surfaces. Thanks to its high temperature load strength and a strong resistance to metal penetration, Kerphalite™ KF, a special sand produced in Brittany for special applications in the foundry industry, has proven itself suitable for these types of applications in many foundries.

In central Europe, silica sand is available in large quantities and in good qualities, and is widely used in foundries as an economical basic moulding material. But it also has negative properties, which may lead to problems when producing sophisticated castings. These particularly include the so-called quartz inversion, i.e. the abrupt expansion of the specific volume at 573°C. It occurs during virtually every casting process and may lead to sand expansion defects, mainly in the form of finning (also called veining). The moulding material can crack under high temperature load, allowing liquid metal to seep into the resulting cracks and cavities. To read the article on pages 14 click on following title “Kerphalite™ KF : high performance moulding material for precision casting”

Community project restores dignity to girls


Since several  years, Imerys Refractory Minerals implements education programs, supports agricultural cooperatives and modernizes infrastructures to improve life standards of its employee’s communities.

Late 2015 Imerys South Africa started partnership with The Peace Agency  to fund  locally produced Subz Pads packs of washable sanitary pads and underwear to fight against absenteeism and drop-outs of girls in high school living close to Imerys Annesley mine in the Limpopo province. It appears that 60 %+ of girls in South Africa miss 18 months (out of 5 years) of high school due to not having access to sanitary products.

Xolisa Mvinjelwa, Executive Director for Ethics & Transformation, explains “The villages around our mine are made up of poor communities with high unemployment and low levels of education. Families depend on grants and parents are unable to afford these sanitary pads.”

the-peace-agencyThis action is beneficial to both, Imerys employees and the girls. Together with NGO representatives, Imerys employees distribute these reusable pads and take the occasion to talk to the girls about health and hygiene issues during their visits, thus tying bonds.

In 2016 the initiative was repeated and extended to other schools. Schools’ principals and staff observe a lower rate of absenteeism and drop-outs. Furthermore they feel that the girls have more confidence in themselves which enhances the level of creativity in the classroom.

New Face Coat Material for Investment Casting Molds

1st Imerys Refractory Minerals Safety Day

First Imerys Refractory Minerals Safety Day

At Imerys Refractory Minerals just as throughout the Imerys group, safety is our number one priority. Imerys develops a proactive safety and health culture by implementing the three pillars of the Imerys Safety System: compliance, continuous improvement and communication. It is structured along the following lines: clearly defined audit protocols, regular audits, a global training plan, safety training based on a behavior-based model, an accident analysis program and a serious accident prevention plan, as well as events designed to strengthen safety culture.

Over the past years, various actions were taken to modernize production sites and machinery, and important means were put on improvement of security awareness throughout the Imerys Refractory Minerals staff. Whether high or medium level managers or workers on the production sites in France, the UK, the USA, South Africa and China, everybody took action for best security within the division.

November 24th was 2016 Safety Day at Imerys Refractory Minerals. Each production site interrupted its activity for half a day bringing together local staffs to strengthen safety awareness. Time was dedicated to align with the division safety targets, actions and results. Teams were given the opportunity to discuss their local security approach and behavior change thanks to the “Take 5” program for example. “Take 5” is a pre-task risk assessment and reduction tool helping drive safety awareness to all employees. It was launched in 2014. Early this year “Serious7” went life. It is a new protocol  for forklift safety helping site managers to review specific issues such as technical deficiencies or regular maintenance matters.