Often we have customers who prefer their rapid prototypes be created out of a Steel Alloy mold. However, many times their project can be supported by Aluminum Tooling
and Bridge Tooling – Aluminum production quantities
One major OEM we work with requires surface hardening the Aluminum Tool because the resin they use is Fortron. This particular resin requires a very high mold temperature to flow correctly. Most optical component resins often require a high mold temperature as well, but the resin’s used to create them are not as rough and abrasive on a mold.
Because Fortron and other glass filled resins are very abrasive plastics, the erosive characteristics will cause substantial wear in Aluminum molds. Of course this can be somewhat minimized by using surface hardening.