Aluminum mold: a complete guide from A to Z

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What is an aluminum mold

An Aluminum mold is a production equipment used for injection molding of plastic parts.

It is a technology used for the production of low production volumes of a few thousand pieces.

For the production of such a mold, we prefer to use soft steels that guarantee the same ease of processing, better quality of the mold and of the molding.

What is it for?

Compared to a traditional and definitive steel mold, the aluminum mold (or soft steel) is used for:

  • Low productions volume
  • A first production waiting for the construction of the final mold.

Aluminum is a softer material than steel, this facilitates and accelerates the processes necessary for the construction of the mould.

All these elements help to reduce production times by 1 or maximum 2 weeks; much depends on the complexity of the geometry and the size of the mould.

We are mistakenly led to think that the aluminum mold (or soft steel) is much less expensive than a definitive mould.

In terms of cost there can be a reduction that oscillates between 5% and 20%, much less than our customers’ expectations.

This is for two main reasons:

  • the design and construction steps of the equipment are the same;
  • to ensure a good finish of the production pieces, it is always necessary to use raw materials and accessory parts of good quality;

The alternative, often much cheaper, to the aluminum mold is the prototype mold.

The technologies used

So if I need to produce short runs of plastic parts, I can use two production technologies:

What are the differences?

In the first case we proceed with the design and construction of a complete equipment suitable for moulding.

The aluminum mold (or tempered steel) is used for molding and remains available to the customer for subsequent productions.

The cost is split between tooling and molding.

The average circulation for this type of mold ranges between 5,000 and 10,000 pieces.

Lead time: 6-8 weeks.

In the second case we proceed with the rapid design of a very simplified soft tool which remains available for molding for 12 months. At the end of this period the equipment is disposed of. So in this solution the customer doesn’t buy the mold but only the pieces.

All costs for the construction of the temporary equipment are divided over the number of pieces.

This production process is suitable for productions ranging between 1000 and 5000 pieces.

Lead time: 4-6 weeks

Case studies

Recently, the requests for short-run productions have increased considerably.

This is thanks to the continuous introduction of highly customized products, designed to meet specific needs.

Electronic products, safety devices, medical and aesthetic equipment, automotive, military; each industrial sector is increasingly focused on satisfying needs and requests for niche products.

Magazine rack in the railway sector

Aluminum mold

Thanks to the prototype mold we were able to produce 1,000 pieces with definitive material in 5 weeks. The customer was able to perform dynamic impact tests necessary for certification.

Our services

Why choose us

Coesum always provides complete project management, from the design of the equipment to the molding of the parts.

Through our workshop we can also follow subsequent processes on the molded pieces such as inserting inserts, milling restarts.

Our consolidated know-how along the entire product development chain allows us to offer ourselves as an integral partner from the design to the production of the pieces.

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