Make the most of your wall casting process
CHALLENGE 1: NARROW WORKING SPACE
When space is tight, the surface area of casting tables needs to be utilised as efficiently as possible. Sometimes this is achieved by using magnets which fit in small spaces and have more than one jaw. When more than one side of a magnet can be used at the same time, you will save space, time, and costs.
“One factory used wooden side forms with plywood in their production. They made mainly wall elements on steel tables, and the magnet they were using was wide. They were interested in utilising the table surface area to the maximum”, says Badei Makhmour, Sales Engineer, Elematic.
The problem was solved with a four-sided magnet in the middle and aluminum profiles on both sides of the magnets. Plywood was attached to the aluminum profile. The total width of the new system saved more than 200 mm. For the factory, this meant over 2,5 m2 of new casting space on the table.
“Another precaster wanted to develop their beam and column production. Previously, they had used wooden side forms and plywood on their long bed. We went through different options with them and decided that the best choice in this situation would be our Flex system, which includes magnets and aluminum profiles”, Makhmour says.
The new side form system was only 172 mm wide, plywood included. The new system was 100 mm narrower than the old system, providing over 16 m2 more area for casting on the bed.
In the Flex system, the profile is attached on top of the magnet, which makes the whole system compact. Molding and demolding are also fast. The system is attached to the table surface by just pushing buttons on the magnets. When removing the system, you simply attach a releasing tool to the magnet and pull the handle to remove it from the mold.
“Instead of concentrating on preparing molds, you concentrate on producing elements. When you don’t need to use wooden side forms, you improve work safety, save money and create less waste”, Makhmour says.
CHALLENGE 2: SLOW CASTING PROCESS AND SLANT CORNERS IN OPENINGS
Are you still using wood as side forms? In that case you have noticed that it is time-consuming, and it is hard to keep the corners straight. In addition, you need to change the wood quite often, which creates a lot of waste. You could solve these problems by using magnets and aluminum profiles which always produce straight panel sides. This system also saves time.
“A precaster needed to speed up their wall production. They had problems keeping the corners of the windows and doors in sharp 90-degree angles. The window and door openings were made of wood and plywood. They wanted a shuttering system for the openings which would be easy to mold and demold”, Badei Makhmour says.
These kinds of problems can be solved by using a system that consists of light aluminum profiles, push-button magnets, and corner and locking pieces.
“In our field, even a small change in working methods may lead to big results”, Makhmour says.
When you start using a shuttering system that consists of aluminum profiles and magnets, you will notice that the speed of installing and removing side forms in window and door openings saves a lot of time. Aluminum profiles are much more durable than wooden side forms. You can either cast directly against aluminum, or if needed, attach plywood to aluminum profiles.
The whole system can be ordered ready for use. All you need to do is to attach plywood to the aluminum profiles.
So how do you prepare an opening using magnets and aluminum side forms?
“After we receive an inquiry, our engineering department draws a mold for a door or window opening. We cut and pre-drill aluminum profiles according to the drawing that you have approved. Depending on the door or window size, there will be four or more parts which will be attached to each other using locking pieces and T-slot bolts. We will put corner pieces in the corners of the mold to make exact 90-degree angles”, Makhmour says.
To remove the mold, you do not need to remove the corner pieces. Just remove the magnets by using a releasing tool, loosen the T-slot bolts and remove the locking pieces. Adjusting locking pieces will give some freedom with panel size changes.
CHALLENGE 3: HEAVY MATERIALS
If you are now using steel side forms, you could use aluminum instead. Aluminum is much more durable than wood and significantly lighter than steel. Lightness also ensures occupational safety: aluminum side forms can be lifted without using cranes.
“Steel side forms are normally very heavy. Our typical aluminum profiles weigh 4 to 6 kgs per meter, and our most common magnets are about 4,5 kilos a piece. Aluminum is much more long-lasting than wood, so choosing aluminum will lead to significant savings over time”, Badei Makhmour says.
Aluminum side forms can be cut with a mitre saw, and the length and shape of aluminum side forms can be tailored according to different needs.
“We want to be challenged in new ways. When you have a new type of need, we will sit down together to come up with new ways to utilise existing solutions. Often, we will create new ones. It is an ever-evolving field, and we enjoy inventing new solutions”, Badei Makhmour says.
Elematic FaMe (Fastening Method)
A unique, patented shuttering system.
The system consists of light aluminum profiles, various types of magnets and planning software for creating drawings and bills of materials.
FaMe can be used with table and battery molds, and in beam and column production.
The system is modular so you can start with a limited number of components first and build the system later.