How to add texture to your injection molds?

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If you’re looking to add texture to your injection molds, you’ve come to the right place.  Here you’ll find out the processes involved, types of textures, and their effects on product appearance. 

You can also read up on the different types of materials you can use to create this look.  Once you know the basics, you can use these methods to create your own custom injection mold texture.

Processes for adding texture to injection molds

There are a variety of processes available to add desired texture to injection molds. These techniques are used to create specific effects, such as wood, leather, sand, or diamond finish, on plastic parts. 

Texturing is a great way to enhance the appearance of plastic parts without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics. 

Aside from improving the look of plastic parts, texturing can also improve the part’s hold on the mold. It can also be used to create a company logo or design, and even provide a certain feel to the part.

Texturing is done using chemical agents that react with the steel of the injection mold. These agents add different effects to the product, which can include sand, leather, stone, and geometric patterns. Using a chemical bath, the agents can also produce a film mask that secures the unprotected areas of the mold.

Types of textures

There are various types of injection mold textures, and you can choose from a wide range of them depending on your part design. 

Some are used to add an aesthetic touch to parts like dashboards, while others improve the functionality of parts. 

All of these types have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are unsure of which texture will work best for your application, you can use a tool to determine the type of texture you need.

Some types of injection mold textures are available in multiple layers. They look more realistic than a single layer. In most cases, multi-layer textures consist of one pattern on top of another. 

In addition, some types of textures can be less expensive to create compared to injection molds because they require lower pressures. 

However, they may not replicate the mold patterns as well as other types of textures. To compensate for the reduced texture, you can use vents and vacuum holes in the mold.

Cost of textures

The cost of injection mold surface texture is often dependent on the complexity of the mold. More intricate molds require more material and more preparation time. 

The costs also vary depending on whether the mold is made of dissimilar metals, which presents difficulty because the different metals have different etch rates and corrosion resistance. 

The size of the injection mold and tooling also play a role in the cost. A 500-pound mold block requires less handling and preparation time, while a larger mold block may require more complex masking materials and spray pattern sheets.

A complex part design requires a complex mold

A typical mold design has two sides, or “side A” and “side B.” Side A is the cosmetic side, while side B contains hidden structures, such as bosses and ribs.

The surface texture of the mold on side B is typically rougher. Comp lex mold designs also require additional fabrication time and can include sliding side-actions and cores.

Effects on product appearance

Injection molding techniques involve coatings and textures to achieve a specific appearance for the product. 

Textured coatings can be used to create perceptual finishes such as wood grain, leather, sand, or stipple. 

Texturing also helps the part retain its shape in the mold cavity and eliminates sink marks. Textured coatings can also be used to enhance the product’s brand identity.

Conclusion

Injection mold surface texturing is an injection molding process that provides surface finish to plastic injection molds. 

The technology can be used to create a variety of finishes, from basic to complex, and on products made of metals as well as plastics. 

To create different desired mold surface textures, product designers can specify specific surface finish requirements, such as the texture depth and draft angle. 

Mold-Tech can provide this texture for injection molds, and they can also provide individual texture plaques and complete sets of reference textures. 

Textured tooling can be masked to prevent accidental texturing, and the texture can be applied using modern or traditional processes. Some techniques include chemical laser etching, mechanical engraving, or laser engraving.

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