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How to Choose the Right Mold Material

As an essential tool in manufacturing, molds play an important role in modern industrial production. The material of the mold has a direct impact on the quality and performance of the mold.

When it comes to selecting a material, especially for custom plastic injection molding, there are several options such as steel, aluminum, and alloy, etc. But before choosing the material, there are several important considerations to take into account, however, two of the most important are the design of the part and the mold, in order to achieve perfect and precise production. 

In the manufacture of plastic injection molds, it is necessary to use materials that meet the characteristics required to carry out the work since they will be subjected to complex production conditions.  

This article will introduce commonly used mold materials and compare their characteristics to let readers understand the advantages of different materials in mold manufacturing.

Criteria for Material Selection 

You cannot use the same material for every type of mold production. it is important to consider the characteristics and requirements of the work nature

1. Select mold materials based on workpiece characteristics

Different workpieces have different requirements for mold materials. For workpieces with higher hardness, steel molds should be selected to ensure the wear resistance and strength of the mold. For situations where high precision requirements are required for the workpiece, copper alloy materials with excellent thermal conductivity can be selected.

2. Consider production batch size and cost

For low-volume production projects, you can choose lower-cost plastic molds or synthetic resin molds. For mass production projects, you can choose metal molds with shorter production cycles and longer service life.

3. Consider process conditions

Select appropriate mold materials according to process conditions to ensure the stability and corrosion resistance of the mold in high-temperature and high-pressure environments. For workpieces that require flexibility and higher surface quality, silicone rubber molds can be selected.

Material comparison and selection guide for commonly used mold materials

The choice of mold materials directly affects product quality and production efficiency. Based on factors such as workpiece characteristics, production batch size, and process conditions, selecting appropriate mold materials is of great significance to improving product quality and reducing production costs. Therefore, when designing and making molds, appropriate materials should be selected according to specific needs to achieve the best production results.

Comparison of Popular Mold Materials

Mold materials can be divided into two categories. Let’s discuss some of the most commonly used mold materials. 

 Metal mold materials

1. Aluminum alloy

Aluminum alloy is a common metal mold material with high strength and excellent thermal conductivity. It is characterized by lightweight, easy cooling, and excellent processing performance. It is suitable for molds with low temperatures and low material requirements. However, the hardness of aluminum alloy molds is relatively low and is not suitable for processing harder workpieces.

2. Copper alloy

Copper alloy is a commonly used metal mold material with good thermal conductivity and wear resistance. Copper material has excellent thermal conductivity and is suitable for molds that require rapid cooling and high precision requirements. However, the cost of copper molds is high, the production cycle is long, and they are susceptible to corrosion.

3. Steel

Steel is the most common metal mold material and has the advantages of high strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Steel molds are suitable for various process conditions and situations that require high mold strength. Although steel molds are relatively heavy, they have high hardness, good stability, and are not easily deformed.

 Non-metal mold materials

1. Plastic

Plastic molds are mostly used in small-batch production and projects with lower cost requirements. Plastic molds have the characteristics of a simple manufacturing process, low cost and strong plasticity. However, plastic molds have a relatively short service life, are easily affected by high temperatures, and are not suitable for high-temperature and high-pressure working conditions.

2. Synthetic resin

Synthetic resin molds have excellent corrosion resistance and electrical insulation properties and are widely used in electronics, optics, chemistry and other fields. Compared with other mold materials, the manufacturing process of synthetic resin molds is relatively simple and the cost is low. However, synthetic resin molds have lower strength and are prone to deformation and wear.

3. Silicone rubber

Silicone rubber molds have excellent elasticity and flexibility and are suitable for fields that require high mold surface quality. Silicone rubber molds have good corrosion resistance and high-temperature resistance and can be used in high-temperature and high-pressure environments. However, the manufacturing process of silicone rubber molds is complicated and the cost is high.

Real-world Implications and Case Studies 

There are many real-time cases that plastic injection molding companies have experienced in order to improve mold production for different industries. let’s discuss some of them.

Case 1: Auto parts mold

In order to improve the processing accuracy and quality of auto parts, an automobile manufacturing company used high-hardness alloy steel to manufacture molds. The material’s high hardness and wear resistance allow the mold to withstand high-intensity processing and have a long service life. By using molds made of high-hardness alloy steel, the company has successfully reduced the processing costs and defective rates of parts.

Case 2: Electronic product shell mold

An electronics manufacturing company uses high-hardness alloy steel to make molds for mold housings. The material’s high hardness allows the mold to withstand high-frequency opening and closing without being easily deformed. By using molds made of high-hardness alloy steel, the company is able to increase the service life of the molds and reduce the frequency of mold replacements, thereby reducing production costs.


Through the introduction of commonly used mold materials and a comparison of their characteristics, we understand the advantages and scope of the application of different materials in mold manufacturing.  Choosing the right material can not only improve the quality and efficiency of the mold but also reduce the cost and cycle of mold production. Therefore, when manufacturing molds, it is crucial to fully consider the advantages of different materials and select suitable mold materials. We recommend while working with molds, look for trusted plastic injection molding manufacturers who have been on the market for a long time. TDL mould company employs specialists who will tell you which form is right for your tasks and provide you with better customer satisfaction.



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