Aluminum Part Production With Range of Molds

Textured Molds

There are two methods of making textured mold surfaces.

  • Fabricate texture plate master: make a flexible skin from the plate and vacuum the skin onto the pattern surface before casting.
  • Prepare the mold surface for acid etching: our vendors can acid etch a casting so that the pattern is etched onto the mold surface, thus representing the opposite of the finished part. Textured molds are used primarily for an “A” class finish.

Vacuum Form Molds

Considering the customers’ needs and specifications, the best way to mold a part is to make compression molds from either epoxy laminate or aluminum, creating the best tilt and parting line for the process.

Have experience with making tooling to process vinyl, “PVC,” high-density polyethylene, “HDPE,” and polypropylene, PP. Aluminum tooling will have cooling lines plumbed to a manifold, vacuum holes drilled, a back plate, and a vacuum connection.

Vacuum molds can also have a texture placed on the surface to the customer’s specifications. The customer would supply a texture master, and then we would use this to develop the textured surface on the mold.

Compression Forming Molds

We machine cast aluminum top and bottom mold halves to the customer’s data and other designed runoff beyond the part trim lines. Customers can seat the molds together in the same location while setting them up on the press with the help of the alignment cones placed on the molds. Production molds can also assemble the following items used during the customer’s process.
  • Internal trimming of molded material: cutting dies/cylinders
  • Material holding/clamping: used to hold blank in place during the process
  • Application of other secondary pieces: Apply Velcro, insulators, grommets
  • Interchangeable inserts: automatic movement with diagnostic sensing
  • Poke yoke: feedback to PLC for quality assurance
  • Temperature control: cooling/heating lines / plumbed to regulate to process.
Production & prototype tooling is custom-built to suit the customer’s cycle time and budget. Tooling lead times are contingent on complexity. Tooling could take as little as two weeks to construct to as long as 16 to 20 weeks. Prototype epoxy: We can construct epoxy/fiberglass laminated structures with plywood egg-crate supports in short lead times to withstand press loads of up to 20 tons over a limited usage for first-build parts. We have built prototype tooling that has withstood 50,000 cycles over a 4-year period depending on how a customer uses the tool in their process. Prototype tooling may have cooling lines embedded to reduce cycle times.

Models & Patterns

We make molds and patterns from wood or lightweight foam based on models. 

We construct them using epoxy/fiberglass layers, taking into account the customer’s material shrinkage and aluminum shrink factor. In addition, we factor in expansion to compensate for customer material shrinkage and aluminum shrink factor.

Patterns may be designed and made to allow machining the aluminum casting or just to be cast without machining.

Miscellaneous Patterns: Wood Patterns/ forms used for fiberglass housings.

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