Aluminium tooling offers greater thermal conductivity, and this resolves several process issues with moulding. It also heats and cools more evenly, which eliminates issues to do with material consistency. Aluminium alloys are thermal conductors, and this has been proven to reduce cycle times; directly translating into lower costs and faster parts.
When it comes to prototyping & initial small volume run, it is more cost efficient to do this through aluminium compared to steel tooling. Crossen's in-house tool dept has a couple of options to cater for minor modifications and tweaks.
Good designs need to be incorporated with good manufacturing and they rely on each other. Crossen Engineering works proactively with our engineers to identify issues in advance and resolve them based on years' experience and expertise. Crossen Engineering has designed & manufactured aluminium moulds with removable or sliding cores, over-moulded materials and incorporate various threaded inserts.
It is a misconception that aluminium tooling is more expensive than other rapid tooling options e.g., Vacast or 3D-printing. The complexity of the design and specifics of a project determines the cost. Using aluminium to make a prototype can save money before a production tool is commissioned. Crossen Engineering has introduced a "Change Mould" system to further reduce initial tooling cost for clients.
A stereotype that has been built up about "aluminium tooling" is that it means a short-run, low-volume. That is simply not true, there is a range of aluminium alloys that Crossen uses in tooling construction, that allows for the high production of volume parts for customer demand.
There is a wide range of suitable materials that can be moulded in an aluminium tool. Crossen Engineering works closely with polymer suppliers and the client to identify the correct material for the component and the most appropriate for their intended use.
From as low as 50off to even thousands of production grade parts can be made using aluminium tooling. Aluminium tooling is easy to maintain and refurbish and would be more than enough to use throughout a client's entire product life or to sustain interim demand.
Almost any finish or detail can be applied to an aluminium tool. If a customer has specific requirements for a particular detail or finish, Crossen's expert team will work with them and advise them on what can be achieved.