Production Tooling from Powder Metallurgy: Opportunities and Limitations 2000-01-2729
Injection molding inserts were produced by a recently developed rapid tooling method based on powder metallurgy principles. Mold inserts were made for a standard multi-unit die frame fitted into an injection molding machine. Mixed polyethylene and polypropylene regrind, glass-filled nylon, and polycarbonate parts were fabricated using these molds. Changes in weight, surface roughness, and dimensions on the mold insert and the molded parts were used to monitor the wear of the mold inserts. Comparisons were drawn between other tool materials under similar molding conditions. A critical analysis of current capabilities for precision and performance was made and several other applications have been identified.