Because we fully 3D model and detail every mold component, customer driven part design changes can be incorporated quickly, while protecting your development budget.
WHY USE ALUMINUM TOOLING???
DRS utilizes a custom tooling approach that offers the benefits of low cost prototype tooling and the ability to choose from a few grades of aluminum to find what fits your project best. We will evaluate your part, material options, and temperature of the resin selected to make sure your tool is built with the correct material. DRS utilizes a few different grades, but our primary grade of aluminum that we use is QC-10 Aluminum. Below, we have listed some of the key characteristics for the mold material that we use every day in our shop.
- QC10 Aluminum: QC-10 is among the first aluminum alloys specifically designed for a variety of mold making applications. QC-10 combines the high thermal conductivity of aluminum with higher hardness and strength, more uniform properties through thickness, and greater corrosion resistance than previous aluminum alloys. Available in thicknesses from 1 inch to 32 inches, QC-10 possesses extremely low quench sensitivity which assures mold makers of consistent machining through the entire thickness of the plate. QC-10 is full wrought, tempered, and stress relieved prior to delivery.
QC-10 has been successfully substituted for P-20 in production injection molds making in excess of one million cycles. The tight grain structure allows for outstanding machinability with small chips, outstanding surface finish, very few burrs, and very fast CNC feeds and speeds. QC-10 can also be polished to a very fine finish (SPI A2). Many molds have been constructed of aluminum employing slides and lifters.
- Lower part cost through reduced cycle time (25% – 40% typical reduction).
- Higher thermal conductivity permits flexibility in water line placement and simplifies cooling system design.
- Up to 10 times faster metal removal rates than P-20.
- Shorter mold build lead times.
- Reduced wear and down time on molding equipment due to the lower weight of QC-10 vs. P-20.
- Better corrosion resistance than other high strength aluminum alloys.
- Eight times higher thermal diffusivity than steel. Material with higher thermal diffusivity rapidly adjusts its temperature to that of its surroundings.
- More uniform temperature distribution throughout the mold and the elimination of hot spots.
- QC-10 is delivered fully heat treated and stress relieved. No further heat treat or stress relief is necessary
- For more information on QC-10, see http://www.copperandbrass.com/wcm/idc/groups/internet/documents/web_content/mdaw/mdi3/~edisp/d_004989.pdf
- All data you see provided by Thyssen Krupp; Copper and Brass.
- 5000 Series Aluminum: Great for low volume prototype tooling. If you want a few shots from your tool to test form, fit, and function, this may be your option. This will help lower costs and get you great injection molded parts fast! Not built to run thousands of parts, but this will certainly do the job for prototyping. Not typically great for high temperature materials but most general plastics will be fine to run in this aluminum.
- 7000 Series Aluminum: 7000 series commercial aluminum alloys offer some of the highest strength aluminum alloy material on the market. The range of 7000 series aluminum is alloyed with zinc and can be precipitation hardened to provide the highest strength of all commercially available aluminum’s. For any parts that will require bridge tooling options or a lower volume production consistently over the course of multiple years, this is your grade aluminum. Still much lower cost over steel, this can provide you with the best option for your tool to last and hold up under high temps or filled materials. This is a healthy option for any production level.
Have a project that requires injection mold tooling? Send us your CAD data and we can review with any one of these choice Aluminum Grades