I would like to know if there is any way I can cast a native DATE datatype to a RAW without converting to varchar2 along the way. I also need to convert a RAW back into a DATE as well.

The background to this is that I need to store ranges which will be used to generate a code by using a BETWEEN expression. The columns searching the RAW ranges columns may be either varchar2 or date datatypes, and I don't want to get hung up on different date formats giving strange results with the BETWEEN expression. I use the UTL_RAW.CAST_TO_VARCHAR2 and
utl_raw.cast_to_raw functions to convert values to and from RAW and they work fine. This is something I have done easily in SQL server (no surprises there) - surely as everything in a computer is RAW anyway, what's the problem???