Aluminum has a reputation for being the material of choice for prototype and short run production. In the last few decades, pressures to shorten cycle time for both making the mold and molding parts has driven the interest level to a new level. Aluminum molds can be used to run all general purpose-unfilled molding resins with tool life exceeding several hundred thousand cycles.
Today, aluminum offers a myriad of benefits. It is easier to cut and it cools at a much more rapid rate (4 1/2 times faster) then steel. This reduces cycle time which reduces total cost. A 15-35% savings can easily be achieved building an aluminum mold over one built in steel. Additionally, the molding cycle savings using an aluminum mold can add another 10-40%.
Aluminum mold plate designed specifically for injection molds must be used. Material like the Alcoa QC-10© product has become an industry standard.
Our AIM Frame was featured in Injection Mold Magazine in 2003, and the article details some of the advantages to machining in Aluminum over Steel.
The AIM Frame concept is to add scaled steel support pillars that are in line with each other, between the alignment pins and bushings on two opposing sides of the "A" and "B" plates of an Injection mold and have them contact a steel ejector housing/back plate. The purpose is to allow the stack up of steel to take all the repetitive clamp/closing pressure of any injection-molding machine.
This addition to any production aluminum mold will offer the molder all the thermal benefits of aluminum with the security of an all steel mold. This concept can be scaled up or down in size based on the size of the mold
If you would like a quote or more information please email AIM with a description of the work involved, your name, and your company