Douglas M. Bryce
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Advances in the technology used to produce high quality aluminum alloys have made these alloys much more suitable for use in production level molds for the plastics industry. Aircraft aluminum, specifically grade 7075, may be machined, welded, ground, and polished, using the same basic techniques, equipment, and tools that are used for steel. Anodizing the aluminum increases the surface hardness to as much as 65 on the Rockwell “C” scale, which is equivalent to hardened tool steel.
Increased wear resistance, high thermal conductivity, light weight, lower material cost, faster cycles, and much quicker turn-around times for total programs are benefits which make aluminum an excellent alternative to tool steel of production molds for plastic products in any industry.
In this report we discuss methods used to make these determinations and look at real life examples of aluminum being used for production molds.