TRABO Spray | Insulative Mold Coating | REL Inc.


What is TRABOTM Spray?

TRABOTM Spray was inspired by REL’s development for NASA’s return to flight effort. It was developed into a spray mold coating during an ARPA-E project to manufacture an intricately cast high pressure gas storage tank. REL is now deploying TRABOTM spray in many new and innovative applications. When applied, this insulative spray is a coating with a wool-like feel and appearance. TRABOTM spray is a non-wetting spray which creates an airgap and keeps the metal from sticking to the mold or losing heat to the mold. This layer is an order of magnitude more insulative than products on the market today.

ladle with TRABO Spray

TRABOTM Advantages:

Ultimate Insulation in Gravity, Low Pressure and High Pressure Casting

  • Enables Lower Metal and Mold Temperature
  • 50% Runner/Riser/Gate Reduction
  • Scrap Reduction – Reduction of Casting Defects with Improved Thermal Management
  • Provides Longer dwell time until Pressurization in the die – Complete fill-out of cast component
  • Proven Application in Aluminum, Magnesium, & Steel Casting
  • Save Energy – reduced gate remelting, less dross, less casting cleanup, and lower heat loss from melt in furnaces, launders, transfer ladles and pour cups

Mold Coating Insulation Comparison


Pressure Sensitive Insulative Coating for Squeeze Casting

With pressure casting (i.e. squeeze casting or high pressure die casting, the flow of melt into tight areas of the mold is enabled with TRABOTM spray. Upon pressurization, the metal defeats the TRABOTM coating and solidifies at the same rate as bare steel with no coating. This allows for a shorter cycle time and fast solidification which is directly related to better mechanical properties.


Elimination of casting defects in high pressure squeeze cast MMC component


Discussion of the Energy Savings Potential of TRABOTM in Automotive Castings

  • There is between 4 Billion to 5.5 Billion pounds of aluminum cast for transportation usage in the USA in 2015. (Estimated 17.46 Million vehicles).
  • Now each of the castings needs (on average) 20% more metal in gates and risers to create the cast component.
  • Using 5.0 Billion lbs of metal cast, that 20% equals 1 Billion pounds of gates and risers (excess metal).
  • If these gates and risers could be reduced by the use of an insulative technology, to 1/2 of what is used typically the energy/cost savings are as follows:
  • Total saved reduced amount of aluminum from gating systems – 500,000,000#
  • On average, it takes $0.06 per pound to melt and hold this metal + Dross loss of remelting of $0.07/lb = $0.13/lb plus the reduction of cleaning cost of $0.18/lb -> Savings of $0.31/lb can be realized
REL Inc.