Aluminium Alloy Mould
After a thorough review of part design, tool design, quantity and type of unfilled, aluminum-friendly resin, aluminum may be a better solution than steel. Using steel molds in conventional molding presses has painted most molders into a cycle time corner, meaning there is no way to appreciably reduce cycle time other than using aluminum molds. Aluminum has always been considered the leading material for prototype tooling because of cost and availability, ease of machining and dependability for several thousand shots. Now aluminum has penetrated into production tooling for cost savings benefits in cycle time improvements, improved machining and polishing performance and better process efficiency. Here is 5 reasons why aluminium alloy are the best solution for mould making:
- Easier to machine and polish – faster tool delivery, lower cost & simpler modifications
- 4 x thermal conductivity of steel – better tool heat dissipation & thus, faster cycle times
- Closer to tool temperature ejection – less stress, distortion, warpage & post mould shrinkage
- Excellent consistency & experience of 600+ mould tools
- 1/3 weight of steel – reduced machine energy use & staff fatigue loading tools or inserts
A Guide for Available Aluminum Solutions
A good, general-purpose alloy suitable for structural foam and blow molding. It is slightly more expensive than 6000 series due to a higher copper content. This alloy has acceptable corrosion performance for short-run tools.
Combines corrosion resistance, strength and weldability with moderate surface hardness and it machines better than 6061. This would be a good choice for bridge tools that need an extended life before a production mold is built. With its exceptional machining characteristics and receptivity to texture and polish, 6013 provides the molder with several hundred to a few thousand cycles in some of the more demanding molding processes.
Generally suited for low-pressure applications—such as large blow molds, low-volume injection molds and compression molds. This material will provide much of the same results as 6013, but is slightly more “gummy” to machine.
This was the benchmark in the industry from the late 1980s when it was first developed. It is used extensively to make production blow molds, structural foam molds and some production injection molds. The downside of this material is that the thickness is limited to eight inches or less. Corrosion issues also develop over time if the tower/mold cooling water is not monitored for high PH levels.
High strength characteristics in thicknesses up to six inches. 7075 is used for prototype tooling and some production injection molds.