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Mold Building Basics | Mold Classifications | Material Types | Design Standards


About Mold Building: Material Types

Selecting the right materials to build a mold depends on features such as the base, cavity and core plates, ejector pins, ejector sleeves, gate blocks, and cavity blocks.

For the base, there are many options available. Each falls into one of three main categories: hardened steel, pre-hardened steel or aluminum.

Hardened steels are typically used for higher volume, corrosive plastics or more complicated designs and are more expensive. Pre-hardened is used for lower volume and less complex mold designs and have a lower price point. The least expensive option is aluminum, which is typically only recommended for prototype or short-run tooling.

Mold material selection has a dramatic impact on result of the project. Having the proper materials improves the design, build and repair processes for specialty injection mold making and timely product delivery. If done correctly, these choices can save time and money.

When choosing the best materials, consider not only the part, but also things like wear resistance, part geometry, cooling, part stability and desired cycle times. The chart below outlines different material characteristics and uses. In addition to the options shown in the chart, there are many specialty options that can fit the needs of unique projects.