Whether it’s your first time working with injection molding or your first time rethinking your injection mold tooling material, it’s always good to consider various options to understand how they can impact your overall production. Here I have mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the two most used materials steel and aluminum for manufacturing injection mold.
In order to understand the pros and cons of choosing steel or aluminum for injection molding, it is important to note that all mold materials have different properties and applications. To achieve the best results, one should choose the most appropriate material for the mold base and core based on project requirements.
P20 steel is the most normally used material for molds in the plastics manufacturing industry due to its unique characteristics. Some of its main properties include:
Good polishing ability;
Heat treatment possibility after machining;
Good corrosion resistance;
Good wear and tear resistance;
Good thermal stability.
P20 material is a versatile low alloy steel that is characterized by its hardness and moderate strength level. It is typically sold in pre-hardened condition at a hardness of approximately 40 to 50 HRC (Rockwell Hardness Scale goes up to 100). Having a homogeneous mixture of alloys allows the P20 steel to obtain uniform hardness within the whole material. In P20 steel, the presence of metals such as chromium and nickel enhances its strength and hardness, making it more desirable than other materials.
With that said, the major impact these properties will have on the finished part is the ability for mold to produce thousands of parts at minimum wear and tear. This is ideal for large production runs of 50,000+ parts.
Aluminum has a 5x better heat transfer rate. With a better conductivity, the position of cooling lines becomes less critical thus allowing for more mold components to be placed. It is more cost-effective than steel but for large scale production it is not useful it gets wear and tears after some thousands of
productions, So any production company what to do production on a large scale it is advisable to manufacture injection mold by using steel materials.