Factors Affecting the Service Life of Molds
Any kind of product has a limited service life, and the mold is no exception.
When a mold is used to a certain extent, it becomes invalid and a replacement mold is needed to continue production. With many factors affecting a mold’s service life, a full understanding of these key points is necessary to manufacture molds with a longer tool life expectancy. Immetech Industrial, as a full-service OEM molding and tooling solutions provider, will here thoroughly explain the most important factors impacting on the tool life to you.
The 1st key point affecting the life of a mold is corrosion failure. For example, for die casting molds, commonly used materials are zinc alloy, aluminum, magnesium and copper alloys, as well as pure aluminum. Zn, Al and Mg are more active metal elements. When melting injection is in progress, the temperature is very high. It requires a high quality of mold materials, there is a risk of scratch and tearing problems during the tool ejection after cooling, as all the alloy material hardness is also very high. If the hardness of the mold is high, the mold’s corrosion resistance will be good, and if the mold surface has a soft point, it will be disadvantageous to the corrosion resistance ability of the mold.
The 2nd key point affecting the life of molds is failure by thermal fatigue crack damage. During molding, the mold is repeatedly subjected to the action of heating and cooling. The mold surface and its interior are deformed, and involve each other in a repeated cycle causing thermal stress, which results in secondary damage and loss of toughness of the mold structure. At this point, micro cracks occur on the mold, and continue to expand. For this purpose, on the one hand, the mold must be sufficiently preheated at the beginning of the production, and the mold must be kept within a certain operating temperature range during the molding process to avoid early crack failure.
The 3rd key point affecting the tool life is the failure by fracture. Under the action of the injection force, the mold will crack at the weakest point, especially unpolished marks or EDM process marks on the molding surfaces. For this reason, marks such as tool machining marks, scratches, and EDM process marks on the mold surface must be polished, even if they are in the gate system. In addition, the mold needs to have high strength and high volume for a long time. The actions of plastic melting and filling can cause gases which are not ejected, causing gas blockage problems on tooling surfaces if not cleared by regular cleaning and maintenance. Long-time accumulation can generate secondary damage and lead to partial collapse of the mold. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the mold is a necessary task.
Also, we advise always to choose high strength, good performance, high impact toughness and fracture toughness materials for mold inserts.
With full understanding of the three key points that affect the service life of molds, we can choose the best methods adapted for the actual situation to pre-empt problems during the process of products, avoiding the influence resulting from these factors in advance and making molds with better quality. In that case, not only is production efficiency improved significantly, but also the production costs for both manufacturer and customer are reduced. In order to provide more benefits for customers, and considering with the above factors affecting the life of the mold, we comprehensively evaluate the best solution to our customers and make every effort to reduce the cost to the lowest and most reasonable with the best quality, in the constant pursuit of Immetech Industrial’s Mission and Values:
- Aim to become the top leading enterprise of new craftsman spirit!
- Focus, Innovation, Integrity, and Win-win.