GF Machining Solutions Taking the black art our of texturing moulds
Switzerland – OEMs in many industries are demanding higher quality and variety in terms of the surfaces their suppliers provide.
Because of this, mould makers are seeking new methods of improving the level of quality and variety in surface texturing of blow moulds and injection moulds.
Traditionally, mould makers have used what is referred to as chemical etching to surface moulds to achieve the desired effect. But the toxic and corrosive chemicals used in this process have a negative impact on the environment and can be extremely harmful to the people exposed to them.
By contrast, laser ablation technology has virtually no impact on the environment and takes the black art out of texturing moulds. According to GF Machining Solutions, one advantage is that the customer knows exactly what the product will look like before the laser is applied to the texture because it can be simulated on a computer screen. These results can be precisely repeated – irrespective of where the parts are made. The textures can be produced directly from digital files ensuring high repeatability.
Moreover, laser ablation is an automated process. Other than programming, the laser does the rest, resulting in lower labour costs. The turnaround times for chemical etching and laser ablation are roughly the same because the ablation process can take time to complete the texture application.