Fonderie Saguenay specializes in the production of custom castings in materials such as gray cast iron and ductile iron. Fonderie Saguenay are able to produce castings to suit all of your specific requirements. The outstanding flexibility of our sand casting process, combined with our unique know-how, allows us to deliver the most diverse and unusual castings.
The Fonderie Saguenay production process is outlined in the following sections.
The patterns that Fonderie Saguenay use are generally made of wood; but are sometimes made of composite materials or aluminum. They are used in the preparation of a sand mold, which is destroyed after each production run. Patterns are often made up of several components, and can be highly complex.
Whether built by our own pattern-makers, by subcontractors under our supervision, or supplied by the customer, our team takes great care of each pattern. We are aware of the influence that our care of the pattern has on the quality of the final casting. While, as a rule, no casting can ever be better than the pattern from which it was made, Fonderie Saguenay’s culture, processes and practices are geared towards making the best of every pattern, even if we must sometimes consider the use of compensatory devices. However, no measure that might compromise the quality of the casting will be used without the customer's explicit consent.
Depending on the type of casting to be produced, we use molds that are made of green sand, or of self-hardening, air-setting molding sand. Molds are formed by imprinting the sand with the pattern. Our sand systems are well-controlled perfectly apapted to our operations.
Once the prescribed alloy has been made using a state-of-the-art process that combines highly evolved equipment and control devices, the mold is filled using a network of runner troughs especially designed in accordance with the specific requirements of each casting. The necessary stages of inoculation and metal conversion are scrupulously observed, and the casting temperature is controlled with utmost precision.
Shake-Out and Cleaning
Once the predetermined solidification and cooling period is over, the casting is lifted out of its mold, the sand and the flask are recovered, and a new molding cycle is launched.
Later, the casting is freed from its risers, shot-blasted and cleaned for shipping to the customer, or readied to undergo other operations such as thermal treatment, machining or painting when necessary.
A thermal treatment can then be done to the casting in a state-of-the-art electric furnace with 2.1m X 2.4m X 1.1m (84'” X 96”' X 42”') of usable interior volume. This furnace is equipped with a programmable control system and a multi-point recording device, which precisely monitors its temperature according to a variety requirements.
Thermal treatment may be required for two main reasons:
Stress Relieving - Stress often occur during metal solidification in the mold. By thermal treatment , we can minimize the risk of warping during subsequent machining operations, or when the piece is in use. This treatment may be required by the customer or by Fonderie Saguenay’s operational practices, according to the casting requirements.
Changing the mechanical properties - To modify the mechanical properties of the casting through a transformation of its metallurgic structure. Likewise, this treatment may be required by the customer, or be part of Fonderie Saguenay’s manufacturing process. It will help the casting attain its specified characteristics.
A fair percentage of castings made by Fonderie Saguenay are machined at the customers' request. For this purpose, we rely on our subcontractors' modern machining facilities, which are perfectly suited to the requirements of your pieces. These operations are performed under our supervision and remain our responsibility; they are carried out with the same exactness, and are subjected to all appropriate inspections and are delivered with a full dimensional inspection report.
According to the customer's requirements, various types of surface protection may be applied to castings. To provide the best possible product, Fonderie Saguenay regularly sub-contracts painting to a specialized company. Our subcontractor is familiar with our operating practices. We communicate regularly and efficiently with him, and any delay is minimal.
Before being sent to the customer, all castings undergo a final inspection with a degree of refinement adapted to each particular case. This final inspection is part of an all-inclusive plan, based on our vision of quality, which inspires everything that we do.
In addition to this final inspection, our operating process is always rigorously controlled, which minimizes the risk of defects.
Whenever the need arises, Fonderie Saguenay hire the services of independent inspection firms to conduct specialized testing, destructive or not, such as ultrasonic, X-Ray, wet-phase magnetic particles inspection, and so on.