ROC Mineral cast history

Historical development of mineral casting in the machining industry

The search for alternatives to metallic raw materials - in machine tool building especially - started during the Second World War already. The main focus was on improved vibration dampening and good material availability. At that time, first tests on concrete beds for turning machines were made in Germany, which were not very successful in the beginning.

Only around 1960 were machine tool beds manufactured industrially from hydraulic concrete. However, this concrete had two crucial disadvantages: a very low tensile strength and its problematic performance towards liquids. Later on, mechanical parts were produced from polymer concrete, which was already well known in the building industry. After some years searching for an adequate binder, the epoxy-based mineral cast established itself. The deficiencies of the hydraulic concrete could be avoided, but the production was still challenging and expensive. 

In the late 70ies, companies of the grinding machine sector started producing grinding machine beds from mineral cast. Also smaller companies of other fields started using mineral cast, so that the use of the material became popular in the 80ies in the machine tool building. In the 90ies, the material was  so well-developed, that different manufactures in Switzerland, Germany and the United States used it to produce measuring systems, woodworking machines and devices. 

Today, mineral cast technology is considered to be tried and tested as well as an economical alternative to metallic material for serial production of machines and tools. Design guidelines as well as material data are established.