Pre-hardened plastic mould steel for optimum product quality

| Author / Editor: Daniel Frie, Technical Customer Service at Deutsche Edelstahlwerke / Rosemarie Stahl

Bigger components, complex moulds and more challenging surface qualities – the requirements for plastic moulds are constantly growing.
Bigger components, complex moulds and more challenging surface qualities – the requirements for plastic moulds are constantly growing. (Source: Deutsche Edelstahlwerke)

The harder the mould steel, the better the surface finish quality on plastic products. This theorem explains plastic injection moulders' increasing need for special steels, which excel thanks to their homogeneous hardness. This is why Deutsche Edelstahlwerke developed Formadur 400.

Producing large moulds with deep engravings and complex geometries for plastic injection moulding is a supreme challenge. Surfaces need to be completely immaculate while complying with narrow tolerances regarding dimensional stability and accuracy of fit for plastic products. It is also important for the material to exhibit high wear resistance to ensure maximum productivity during production. Homogeneous hardness in mould steel is an essential prerequisite for meeting highest demands. This is a standard that far from every steel producer is able to fulfil, especially when it comes to providing high-grade steel blocks for large dimensioned plastic moulds.

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Deutsche Edelstahlwerke

Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, a company belonging to Schmolz + Bickenbach, is an expert in tool and mould steel and consistently uses state-of-the-art process technologies. This provides the company with the scope it needs to ensure further development of its steel products in line with market requirements. The global demand for pre-hardened plastic mould steels with high hardness has grown in recent years. Injection moulders require a maximum number of shots in combination with top quality, whether they are producing white goods, electronic devices or vehicle interiors and exteriors. Performance is decisive in the face of competition.

Deutsche Edelstahlwerke regarded this trend as an opportunity to further develop its established plastic mould steel Formadur 320 to meet market requirements, especially with regard to hardness.

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High hardness, yet easily machinable

Comparisons of Formadur 320 and Formadur 400 with the standard P20 grades exhibit a significant increase in hardness distribution and through-hardenability.
Comparisons of Formadur 320 and Formadur 400 with the standard P20 grades exhibit a significant increase in hardness distribution and through-hardenability. (Source: Deutsche Edelstahlwerke)

To meet market needs to an optimum effect, the company worked together with selected clients to develop the new steel Formadur 400 and bring it to the production stage. Thanks to extensive machining and deep drilling tests as well as simulations regarding through-hardenability, the steel manufacturer's newly developed product demonstrated the required material properties for the machining and use of special steel. Positive feedback from clients attests Deutsche Edelstahlwerke's success, the company says.

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