Mold or Mould or die are the terms used to describe the tooling used to produce plastic parts in injection molding.
Since molds have been expensive to manufacture in the western world, they were usually only used in mass production where thousands of parts were being produced. Typical molds are constructed from hardened steel, pre-hardened steel, aluminum, and/or beryllium-copper alloy.
The choice of material to build a mold from is primarily one of economics; in general, steel molds cost more to construct, but their longer lifespan will offset the higher initial cost over a higher number of parts made before wearing out.
Pre-hardened steel molds are less wear-resistant and are used for lower volume requirements or larger components. In our injection mold company we use a lot of Pre-hardened steel moulds, usually AISI P20 American standard or DIN 1.2311. These kind of moulds we also often use to make quick prototype moulds for short runs ( 1000-20000 pieces) The typical steel hardness is 38-45 on the Rockwell-C scale.
Hardened steel molds are heat treated after machining. These are by far the superior in terms of wear resistance and lifespan. Typical hardness ranges between 50 and 60 Rockwell-C (HRC).
Aluminium molds can cost substantially less, and, when designed and machined with modern computerized equipment, can be economical for molding tens or even hundreds of thousands of parts. Beryllium copper is used in areas of the mold that require fast heat removal or areas that see the most shear heat generated. The molds can be manufactured either by CNC machining or by using Electrical Discharge Machining processes.
If you have a 3d cad file for quotation, please send to our email firstname.lastname@example.org and than we can quickly review it and give you advise on our pricing of the necessary tooling/moulds and injection molding these plastic parts. You are always welcome to visit our injection mould shop near Shanghai.....