The number of parts a mold must produce has a large influence on mold design, cost, and the choice of steel materials. The mold designer must consider the following possibilities:
- Increase the number of mold cavities.
- Choose a better quality mold material with a harder, wear resistant surface.
- Choose a better quality mold material with hardened inserts of different material.
- Use a plating method such as chrome plating.
Mold life is a term used to define the number of acceptable piece parts produced from a single mold. Some of the material choices made by the mold designer to increase mold life include:
- Short Run:
Possible choices might be kirksite, aluminum and low carbon steel.
- Medium Run:
Possible choices would be P20, P21, and medium carbon steels.
- Long Run:
Possible choices would be chrome plated or nitrated P20, stainless steel, inserted tool steels of H13, D2, S7 or other air and oil hardening steel choices.
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