ADVANTAGES OF Aluminum Mold Manufacturing
More than ever, aluminum is a popular choice for production molds. Aluminum is cheaper than P-20 tool-steel, making it a popular choice for high-volume parts. Additionally, aluminum molds can be cycled 20-30% faster that steel. Many OEM's today are encouraging their suppliers to use aluminum wherever possible in today's automotive economy.
Comparable to P-20 steel
1. Aluminum can transfer four to five times more thermal heat than steel. Because aluminum has a higher thermal conductivity, it is easier to place additional ejector pins if needed.
2. Aluminum has shown productivity improvements of 20-30% in cycle times savings.
3. Aluminum is a great material for machining and polishing. Some high-strength aluminum alloys can be machined up to eight times faster than steel.
4. The heat treatment and stress relieving of aluminum does not require that the aluminum be shipped out. All of this can be done during the manufacturing process.
5. Aluminum alloys aren't all created equal. QC-10 is a highly recommended material for production molds. It is a heat-treated wrought aluminum alloy with high strength.
For a successful aluminum production mold to be designed, there are many factors that must be considered. Is the resin suitable for aluminum? What is the part geometry? How many are required? What is the cycle time? What is the expected life expectancy of the mold? These are the same factors designers consider when designing a P-20 mould. We will create a mold using our aluminum tools that incorporates steel support columns. This mold has all the benefits of aluminum combined with the strength of a steel one. These support pillars prevent the possibility of crushing the parting line or over-clamping the mold. Aluminum tools can also be textured.
Aluminum tools should be treated with more care than those made of steel. They can be damaged by excessive clamp pressure, excessive inject pressure, or by removing stuck pieces with a screwdriver or sharp object. The mold shop must have a culture that accepts aluminum tools. They are reaping the rewards for OEMs and shops that use them.
Molding is a manufacturing process that produces parts using pliable material. This rigid form is known as a matrix or mold. Molds can be made out of aluminum or other materials, including glass, amorphous and plastic metals, resins, fiberglass resins, rubber, and raw material like glass.
Aluminum alloys can be used to make molds. They are versatile and economical. JTC Machining Precision Metals has a variety of aluminum extrusions and products for various industrial, manufacturing and construction purposes.
Aluminum mold manufacturing - Molding by blow
Blow molding allows hollow shapes to be joined together. These parts are typically made from glass, plastic or amorphous (glassy), metals. They can be made using one of three blow molding processes: injection blow molding and extrusion blow mold. Mold blowing uses glass blowing principles. The molding process starts with a tube-shaped piece of plastic, or glass that has a hole in its middle through which air can flow. The parison is this piece of raw material. The parison must be first inserted into the mold and then secured. Next, the parison is secured in the mold by blowing air into it. This forces the parison's shape to be formed. After the part has cooled and hardened it can be removed from the mold. Bland molding is used to mass produce plastic containers like soda bottles, take-out containers, plastic cups and plastic cups.
Aluminum mold manufacturing - Compression Molding
The manufacturing process of compression molding is well-suited to large, flat parts and parts with moderate curves, such as car fenders and rubber rain boots. The process starts with a preheated molding material (also known as a charge), being placed into an open, preheated mold cavity. The mold material can come in sheet, pellet, or solid form. It is most commonly made from fiberglass resin systems, rubber and silicone. A top force, or plug member, is placed on top of the mold to shape the charge. Overflow grooves are used to capture the overflow material (also known as flashes). Once the parts have cooled completely, they can be left in the mold to cure. Finally, the parts and flashes can be removed from the mold. This mold manufacturing process is very cost-effective because it uses minimal material.
Aluminum mold manufacturing - Thermoforming
Thermoforming is the process of heating plastic sheet to make it flexible. The mold is used to form the plastic by stretching it into or onto the mold. The plastic is then cooled to form the final shape. You can use either pressure forming or vacuum forming to form the sheet against the mold. These molds can be made from aluminum or wood. The thermoforming process of thin gauge is used primarily to make plastic cups, lids and containers. However, thermoforming can be used to create thick materials like vehicle beds and dash panels.
Aluminum mold manufacturing - Rotational Molding
Rotational molding, also known by rotomolding or rotomolding is the process of filling a heated hollow with a charge material. To allow the charge material to completely coat the walls of a hollow mold, the mold is slowly turned. To avoid any deformation during cooling, the mold is allowed to continue rotating until it has completely cured. This is a common method to produce various plastic products that have a seamless and hollow geometry. These parts can be as big as tanks that hold tens to thousands of gallons or as small and lightweight as ping-pong balls. This method, similar to compression molding is very cost-effective as it produces minimal waste and can often be reused.
Aluminum mold manufacturing - Aluminium Alloys for Mold Making
Alpase's M-1, M-5 and PCP's Max 5 aluminum alloy plates are both effective in the manufacturing of molds. When choosing the right aluminum alloy, you should consider the following factors: the part's geometry, the type and quantity of resin used, as well as the cycle time and durability of the final product. These are some of the most popular alloys used in the making of molds:
1. 7075-T651 plate aluminum alloy delivers excellent strength
2. 7050 aluminum alloy can be used extensively in production blow molds and structural foam molds. These molds are limited in thickness to 8 inches.
3. 6061-T651 aluminum plate alloy is used in large blow moulds, compression molds and low-volume injection molding molds.
4. The 6013 aluminum alloy is strong, corrosion resistant, weldable, and has a good level of machinability. You can rely on it to produce runs in excess of a few hundred to a few thousands.
5. 2024 aluminum alloy can be used to blow or structural foam mold and is reliable for small production runs.
6. M-1 mold plates are aluminum mold plates that were specifically designed for the plastic and mold industries. This aluminum plate is extremely dense and dimensionally stable. It was specifically designed for high-temperature plastics and mold industries. M-1 reduces production costs by offering machinability benefits.
7. MAX5 aluminum mold plate is an excellent choice for larger rubber or plastic mold applications. The alloy can be ordered in thicknesses ranging from 4.0" to 42.5" with a delivery time of approximately one month.
Howard Precision Metals, a Midwest-based distributor of 100% aluminum products, is your best source for extrusions and aluminum products. Howard Precision Metals can help you reach your project goals in any sector of the hydraulic, aerospace, machine manufacturing or pneumatic industries.
Contact us, Find out more about aluminum alloy molding services at JTC Machining or ask for a quote.