Machined Aluminum Molds
Machined aluminum molds are typically built for shallow parts with small draw ratios. ATI uses 6061-T6 aluminum for the construction of these molds, which can be held to very close tolerances. These molds are then mounted on a temperature control base to control the mold temperature during the forming process. Male or female molds and vacuum-form or pressure-form molds can be machined aluminum molds. They can be textured and may offer features such as loose cores, pneumatic cores, and inserts.
Cast Aluminum Molds
Cast aluminum molds are cast at a foundry from a pattern machined by ATI from a composite material. The temperature controls are cast into the back and sides of the molds at the foundry. Cast aluminum molds typically are built for parts with large draw ratios and may be male or female and vacuum-form or pressure-form. Features such as texture, loose and pneumatic cores, and inserts are available.
For prototyping and short production runs, cost-efficient composite materials are used for mold construction. These molds produce parts that are to be evaluated for fit, form, and function and may be modified to evaluate possible design changes. These molds are for vacuum-forming only and are not temperature controlled. These molds have a limited life.