Home Forums CNC Technology Which is Best Injection Molding Tool Steel for My Project?

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    Allen Young

    Plastics selection is understandably important in custom injection molding operations. After all, the materials used to make the parts have the most impact on their quality and function.

    The grade of injection molding tool steel used in production, on the other hand, has a significant impact on project outcomes. To align the steel with the demand, cycle times, part criteria, production volume, cost, and maintenance expectations must all be considered.

    It could be an expensive mistake to skip this stage or not fully comprehend the link between the material being injection molded and the material doing the molding. The cost of waste, defects, reruns, and line time can soon add up.

    The question is no longer whether injection molding tool steel is important, but which option is ideal for your project and what is the best tool steel to choose?

    Graham Steven

    When deciding which steel to use in your injection molding process, you have two options: hardened steel and pre-hardened steel. S-7, H-13, and 420 Stainless Steel are the most regularly used hardened tool steels, while P-20 and mod pre-hardened stainless steel are the most commonly used pre-hardened tool steels. Specialty steels, such as Maraging 300, can also be employed in thin areas due to their desired physical qualities. Additional information about the most prevalent steels used in injection molding can be found below.

    Pre-hardened steels are commonly utilized in low-volume tools. The mold plate is frequently made of P-20 steel, and the molding can be solidly carved into the plates. If necessary, strong steel might be put into areas of the plate for shutoffs or wear surfaces.
    To prevent corrosion from cooling channels or corrosive materials like PVC, hard stainless steel tooling, such as 420 stainless steel, is employed. Stainless steel cracks more easily than other hardened steels and has a lower heat conductivity. A sharp edge will not hold in stainless steel. For the high-quality surface finish required to make lenses and transparent parts, stainless steel will be used.
    Steels like H-13 and S-7 are tough. These materials withstand wear and frequent injection and mold closing pressures. Corrosion must be avoided at all costs, as water channels corrode over time.
    Heat is transferred through PAS940. Because the material isn’t extremely hard, plating is occasionally applied to impart hardness to the surface.
    Maraging 300 is a high-strength, high-toughness steel that is utilized for thin steel sections.

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