Using A Solid Aluminum Block For Molds

Using A Solid Aluminum Block For Molds

There are several different options when it comes to developing molds for injection molding and other types of molding processes. There are some significant advantages that should be carefully considered when designing a mold, particularly if you are going to start with a solid aluminum block.

For most applications cast aluminum is the best option. The 5083 alloy is particularly effective in injection molds as well as other types of molds because of its specific properties. It has a very low internal porosity and can be tested with an ultrasonic scanner that verifies the structure of the alloy throughout the block. For injection molding, this is a critical factor as any internal structural issues will impact the mold effectiveness.

Fast Machining

When choosing a solid aluminum block for molds, look for alloys that are fast machining and that are rated very good to excellent for polishing. The surface of the mold is going to be a very important factor. Using an alloy that requires limited polishing or machining can help to reduce the time and costs involved in manufacturing the mold.

Cycle Times

One of the reasons that aluminum alloys make such good molds is because they are able to dissipate heat rapidly. This thermal conductivity allows the injection molds to cycle through faster, producing more molded products in a shorter period of time.

The faster the cycle times the lower the unit cost over time. Over the life of the mold, this can add a significant value to lowering the cost per unit of production. Additionally, with higher thermal conductivity in the mold, there is less risk of warping of the part that is common with slower cooling types of materials in molds.

Durable and Reliable

By choosing the right alloy, such as 5083 aluminum, the mold produced will have a longer life cycle that other alloys or other materials. It is also critical to consider the maintenance on any mold, and the solid aluminum block molds tend to have limited demands when it comes to regular maintenance. By using the right alloy and the correct care of the mold, it is possible to produce hundreds of thousands of parts before there is a need to replace the mold.

Of course, the price will also be a factor in the type of alloy selected. However, price should not be the only factor to consider as durability, life cycle, benefits and advantages can all be figured into the equation as well.

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