Permanent Mold Casting

Consistent Castings with Precise Tolerances

Overview

Aluminum permanent mold castings share many attributes to its sand casting counterpart, but often prevail when a casting requires higher strength, improved cosmetics, larger in size (larger than 20inches), or when using a mechanical steel core can reduce costs.  The process utilizes a reusable steel or iron mold, creating a smoother finish than its sand counterpart.  A product made via permanent mold casting typically increases mechanical properties by 15% due to the reduced grain structure created by the freeze rate of steel versus sand.  Many OEM’s leverage permanent mold casting strength for conversions from iron or steel castings to lighter aluminum permanent mold casting.  While not at the same level of mechanical properties, advancements in alloying and heat treating make this feasible in many applications.

Each step of our manufacturing process is carefully monitored and controlled to guarantee that your specifications are met. We use the latest technology to check the chemistry of our metal from start to finish. Computers are used extensively throughout the foundry operations — controlling everything from the metal quality requirements to regulating die temperatures. Real time x-ray, die penetration analysis and mechanical property testing are performed regularly to ensure that we meet or even exceed your requirements.

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Equipment

LeClaire Manufacturing utilizes automatic-tilt permanent mold machines equipped with tilt time regulators and thermo-couplers. These gravity-fed machines guarantee that optimal metal and die temperature are maintained, ensuring that our process is predictable and repeatable.

Slides and Cores

LeClaire Manufacturing casts even the most difficult permanent mold castings, with cores or without. Slides, cores and steel inserted aluminum castings all fall within the expertise of LeClaire Manufacturing.

Our design engineers review your casting design and offer cost-saving suggestions at the quoting stage of the project. Often, our casting experience allows us to suggest a slide where it was designed for a core, reducing labor costs, or to suggest ways to reduce the casting weight while maintaining structural integrity, saving on metal expenses.

Solidification Modeling

When investing in tooling to make your product, you want to confirm that the casting you designed goes thru scrutiny on how the foundry will produce the casting. Analyzing optimal metal and die temps thru reviewing fraction liquid, fraction solid, trapped air, pouring, velocity and turbulence, and many other predictive simulation modules, LeClaire gating and risering engineering drastically reduces the probability of your product containing defects. Our solidification modeling allows us to examine potential defects, collaborate on solutions with our customers, and engineer them out before the mold or pattern is made. This saves costs and assures customers receive the quality castings they expect.

Metal Pouring

Selecting the correct aluminum alloy for your casting is a critical aspect to the success of your part. LeClaire pours a variety of metals depending on our customers’ specific needs. Our aluminum alloy expertise is a result of our 50+ year history of pouring 200, 300, 500 and 700 series aluminum alloys.

Heat Treating

There is no room for error in heat treating. Accurate control yields predictable results.

Why Do Customers Prefer LeClaire Manufacturing?

“This part has been sourced through 4 foundries, and was my full-time job to babysit the supplier on this part, for 10 years, prior to the part being sourced at LeClaire; now I never even hear of it, it flows thru the shop so smoothly.”

Supplier Quality Engineer, Employer of 76,000