Molding tools

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Ac­cord­ing to the stan­dard, mold­ing tools is the um­brel­la term for all ma­chin­ing and hand tools which, ac­cord­ing to DIN 8580, are as­signed to those man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es which are used for form­ing and shap­ing by ma­chine or man­u­al­ly. In prac­tice, the term is more com­mon­ly used as a syn­onym for form­ing tools that are used for the di­men­sion­al­ly ac­cu­rate form­ing of plas­ti­cal­ly de­formable ma­te­ri­als (met­als, plastics). 

What is a molding tool like?

Mold­ing tools are usu­al­ly com­plex, two-part con­struc­tions which, de­pend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion, are made of steel, alu­minum or cast iron and of­ten con­tain com­plex tem­per­a­ture con­trol sys­tems and hot run­ner systems.

In the met­al in­dus­try, these molds are used, for ex­am­ple, for car body con­struc­tion or in cast­ing tech­nol­o­gy. In very sim­ple terms, the mold here con­sists of two spe­cial­ly shaped parts. The met­al, usu­al­ly a large sheet, is in­sert­ed be­tween these two parts. The two parts move to­geth­er and there­by press the met­al in­to a de­sired shape.

In the plas­tics pro­cess­ing in­dus­try, molds are used for in­jec­tion mold­ing. Here, too, the mold con­sists of two parts that are spe­cial­ly shaped. When the two sides are moved to­geth­er, they form a cav­i­ty in­side them (al­so called a cav­i­ty). Liq­uid plas­tic is in­ject­ed in­to this cav­i­ty. Via high pres­sure, the melt reach­es each area of the cav­i­ty. Af­ter in­jec­tion and sub­se­quent cool­ing, the two sides of the mold move apart. A plas­tic mold­ed part, such as an ice scraper, falls out.

Why are molds used?

Mold­ing tools can be used to man­u­fac­ture com­po­nents in­ex­pen­sive­ly. Due to the pre­cise tim­ing of all process steps, the de­sired molds are pro­duced quick­ly one af­ter the oth­er. This means that noth­ing stands in the way of mass production.

Who builds molding tools (forming tools)?

Be­fore the tool is built, it must first be de­vel­oped so that it can ful­fill its task with pre­ci­sion. These tasks are per­formed by engineers/designers in spe­cial of­fices or on a free­lance ba­sis. They are then man­u­fac­tured in tool and mold mak­ing by ma­chin­ing process­es or cast­ing. En­tire com­pa­nies have de­signed their busi­ness mod­el around this man­u­fac­tur­ing. The man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies then re­ceive turnkey tools for their pro­duc­tion from the tool and die makers.

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