Aluminium Development Tooling

Overmould engineers have more than 20 years of experience in aluminium and 3D printed tooling for the LPM Low Pressure Moulding Process.  We know how to identify potential issues and use best practises to define the optimal tooling approach. Experience has shown us what methods work best in any given situation and how tough the tool needs to be.

Our Haas CNC machine processes aluminium tooling in-house and our turnaround time is approximately 2 weeks.

Benefits Of Using Aluminium For Low Pressure Moulding Tooling

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Aluminium has many advantages over P20 steel for mould tool making. Though steel moulds were traditionally used for their strength and durability, the latest aluminium technology means that moulds made from the strongest aluminium alloys can last almost as long as steel mould tools and producing 100,000 parts from a single mould tool is not uncommon.

First and foremost, aluminium is up to five times more efficient when it comes to thermal heat transfer which is very important in the LPM Low Pressure Moulding process using hot melt polyamides, such as the Henkel Technomelt range supplied by Overmould. The improved thermal conductivity means that there is less need for complex water cooling and there is more room for ejector pins.

  • Lower cost.
  • Aluminium is up to five times more efficient when it comes to thermal heat transfer.
  • Aluminium can be more easily machined and polished up to 8x faster than steel.
  • Aluminium is softer & machine tools can be cut quicker : 30% reduction in cycle time.
  • A combination of light weight, high strength, scratch and corrosion resistant properties with coatings can be produced.

What Tool Life To Expect From Aluminium Tooling

The number of parts that can be expected from an aluminium tool depends on the grade of aluminium used, the material being moulded and the number of parts that need to be moulded.

The correct selection of aluminium will enable a tool life of 100,000’s when using most low-pressure moulding materials, including Henkel Technomelt. Overmould have the experience and knowledge to advise you on the best material for your tooling requirements. We can sometimes offer alternative solutions.

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Selecting The Right Materials

aluminium tooling

Differing grades of aluminium offer improved hardness, from the softer 5000 series through to grade 6000 and above for when high volume throughput is required. Sometimes when high wear metal parts are being overmoulded, we will design P20 inserts to fit into the tool. These inserts will increase the life of the tool offering additional hardness and strength whilst keeping the excellent high removal properties of a low-pressure mould tool.

Aluminium is generally ‘softer’ than steel tooling, and material fillers such as glass can result in increased levels of wear. However, this is not a problem with Henkel polyamide materials.