50+ years' experience
ISO 9001 and 14001 certified
Family Business - 3 generations
UK Based Company
Whether you are looking for a new tool to be made or to move your existing tool to us from another moulders, either overseas or within the UK, Plastic Supplies Dudley Ltd is here to help.
Once you have a finalised product design and are ready to start manufacturing, it is then time to create your mould tool. Depending on the requirements of your product such as quantities and materials, we will work together with the toolmakers to recommend how best to make the product, and what material the tool should be made from. If you are after small quantities, then it would probably be more cost effective to go for aluminium tooling, but if you are after a long running tool or using a highly abrasive material then we would more than likely recommend a hardened steel tool.
A mould tool is a bespoke mould that is used to produce parts in the plastic injection moulding industry. The tool will consist of both a fixed half and a moving half.
Steel is the most popular choice when it comes to deciding what you make your injection moulding tool out of. It is hard wearing and long lasting. However, depending on the material you are wanting the products to be made out of, there are different types of steel, each of which is better for different jobs.
The most popular is a P20 steel which is semi hardened. This can withstand higher injection and clamping pressures than aluminium, so is typically found on larger parts with bigger shot weights. It is also an easy material to be repaired by welding.
The harder the steel you have, the more brittle is it so can depending on the design of the part. If there are lot of moving parts in the tool, then it may not be best to go for the hardest material as it could be prone to cracking. Many different factors can be affected by the tooling such as cycle times, part criteria and maintenance expectations so this all needs to be factored in when purchasing an injection moulding tool.
Aluminium tooling is a good option for when you do not need millions of parts off the tool. A lot of companies will opt to go for aluminium tooling to start off with as it a much cheaper option compared to steel. Automotive companies will tend to make their prototype parts out of aluminium tooling before committing to a steel tool, but for a lot of our customers, due to the low volumes of parts needed, stick with aluminium for their production tools also.
Longevity of the tool will depend on a number of factors. Firstly the tool will of course have to be looked after. All our tools are kept on site and if we spot any sign of damage, we will send it straight to the toolmaker to be rectified. Secondly if the number of shots the tool does. The more shots, the more the tool will wear down.
To make an aluminium tool harder wearing, it is also possible to have steel inserts inside an aluminium bolster. This will increase the life span of the tool considerably, but will also increase the cost of the tool.