Injection mold makers and molders follow a detailed process when designing a tool for any plastic injection mold. When constructing molds for the aerospace industry, however, there are unique considerations that require careful planning to meet part specifications with consistent repeatability. Working with an injection molder that is AS9100 rev D certified is important as well as working with a team of mold makers and process technicians experienced with specialty polymers and high-tech mold design.
Considerations with mold design and manufacture for aerospace part production requires experience with:
- Engineering grade thermoplastic resins
- Mold features
Material Considerations for Aerospace Mold Design and Construction
The challenges presented when molding with high-temperature engineering grade resins often used in the aerospace industry pose unique challenges to mold designers. Mold designers must take thermal expansion into consideration when molding with high-temp, glass-filled or carbon-filled thermoplastics. Some typical materials used in aerospace part production include Ultem, PEEK, PBT, PPA and others with properties that require careful consideration when designing mold features.
Mold Design Features for Aerospace Part Production
Injection mold designers with experience in engineering resins understand the same approach to conventional mold design will not work for complex, aerospace molds. Shutoffs, for example, must be robust when molding with extremely high temperatures. Understanding the thermal expansion created by mechanical actions is extremely important for molding parts to specification with long term repeatability.
Proper venting of tools is critical to maintain quality production as these tools tend to get dirty and gas up. This requires more frequent preventive maintenance than conventional molds.
Gate design depends on several factors including the size of the part, dimensional features and requirements. Some parts may be designed to de-gate automatically depending on the size of the part.
Additional mold feature considerations include any cam-action, lifters and ejection system requirements, and, of course, the location of water lines for the cooling system. The molding environment and press are other important factors for mold design.
Machining Injection Molded Part Features
Depending on the part specifications, some features are better suited to be machined after molding. An injection molder with CNC machining capabilities will determine the optimal manufacturing method to achieve part specifications with molding characteristics or a combination of molding and machining.
QT Manufacturing Offers Aerospace Mold Design and Construction
QT Manufacturing offers experienced mold design and construction for the aerospace industry, as well as many other industries which require high-quality, tight-tolerance part production. Our mold design engineers are experienced in complex mold design, including hot runner systems and tight-tolerance geometrics. We are certified to ISO9001:2015 and AS9100 rev D, following a strict, tightly controlled quality system. In addition, we are International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliant.
QT Manufacturing offers advantages over other molders with a highly skilled mold making team, process engineers and CNC machining capabilities. We provide this all under one roof for the highest quality of mold design and the most economical part production. Our in-house tooling department allows us to provide mold maintenance, repair and preventive maintenance while running production for a tighter supply chain to our customers.
QT Manufacturing provides high-quality, precision components with competitive pricing and on-time delivery. We offer value added services with in-house mold making, injection molding and CNC machining capabilities. Contact us to learn more about our experience as a valued supplier to the aerospace industry – 972-221-0537.