What is Mold Tooling?

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By Jeremy Losek, Sep 14th, 2021

To produce a higher quality plastic injection molded part, the right mold tooling must be used. ICOMold only selects premium components and materials for your job and will work closely with you to configure the best custom plastic injection mold tooling for your project.

The Plastic Injection Mold

A plastic injection mold is a cavity or hollow shell that is designed to a project’s specifications and then filled to create the shape of a product. Just as cake batter is poured into cupcake forms and then set, liquified plastic material is transferred to a plastic injection mold to produce a part. Plastic injection molds are generally made of steel, aluminum, or alloys. They may include a variety of components on the inside of the mold including bases, guides, lifters, pins, bushings, ejectors, and alignment devices. The proper mold material and components must be used to ensure the dimensional tolerances are met and that the mold can be re-used.

Injection Molding

The basic concept of injection molding is to inject a moldable or liquid material into a mold. Different materials can be used from plastics to metals, glass, and more. The material is first heated, forced into the mold until the mold is filled, hardened as it cools, and then ejected into a bin, producing a final product. The mold then resets to repeat this process.

Injection Mold Tooling

Tooling the plastic injection mold for a project includes sourcing and acquiring all of the mold components and machinery necessary for the job including, jigs, gauges, fixtures, and other equipment. These instruments are critical to the success of the part. Using the right plastic injection tooling, the efficiency of a mold can be improved as well as the overall quality of the injection molded part. The tooling process can largely dictate the costs and quality of the end part.

ICOMold’s injection molding tooling is highly customizable, which allows us to produce injection molded parts that match your specifications. As a result of producing a wide variety of products for numerous applications and industries, we offer numerous strengths and specialties. Working in conjunction with our designers as well as our production facility, we can produce custom plastic tooling and molds to meet the unique requirements of your project.

ICOMold prefers to use steel tools over aluminum for full-scale production (high volume) for several reasons. Steel can tolerate higher temperatures and pressure without compromising the mold. Injection molds from steel can produce millions of plastic parts whereas aluminum can only produce in the thousands. Steel is easier to maintain, will last without rusting, provides an excellent finish to each piece, and is easy to weld and adjust. The use of electrical discharge machining (EDM) is possible with a steel mold, whereas with aluminum it is impossible. Steel molds can be less expensive as they can run more cycles whereas their aluminum counterparts are more costly to maintain and must be replaced more often.

Have questions about mold tooling? Please feel free to contact us at (419) 867-3900 or email sales@icomold.com.

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