In our many years in business, we have experienced texture projects in all types of tooling, not just in plastic injection molds. Since we are familiar with all types of tooling and molding, texturing these types of tooling pose no problem for us.
Most blow molds do not pick up 100% of the texture detail that is etched into the cavity halves, although modern blow molding machines are picking up more definition than earlier ones. The science of venting has also improved, allowing more detail to be translated into the parts. We have found that many of the definition problems associated with blow molding are related to venting. We can (within limits) apply the texture into the mold components slightly deeper than normal so that more definition can be picked up when parts are molded. We also have developed patterns for blow mold applications - samples of these are yours for the asking on a set of blow molded plaques.
When the vents are brass and the mold is aluminum, you¡¯ll want to decide whether or not you want texture on the vents. Since they are a different metal than the surrounding cavity surface, they need to be dealt with separately. Many customers elect to not texture the vents.
Some toolmakers use steel or copper inserts in their tool design. If these inserts are going to be textured, they will have to be textured separately, (or isolated from the aluminum cavity), and they may have a slightly different appearance than the aluminum due to differences in the metals. We can make some pattern adjustments if you let us know in advance that this situation exists, however, this may impact delivery.
We have textured hundreds of rolls over the years for all types of applications : vertical blinds, furniture edge veneers, automotive trim, steel sheets, etc. It is important that you give us some idea what material you are extruding or rolling . One important factor to keep in mind regarding the texturing of rolls is that the texture on the roll may not reproduce at 100% on the stock you are running. Since the plastic, rubber or steel being rolled is not molten, it may only pick up a partial impression off the roll. For that reason, most texturing on rolls is processed at an increased depth.
There are many parameters that effect the look of the texture applied to the roll. The construction of the roll and its substrate have a major impact on the performance of the roll. These issues should be addressed with the texturing source before the roll is built, if possible. Since rolls are often etched deeper, the material chosen for the metal to build the roll is very important.
Compression tooling can be textured much the same way as injection molds. The resin picks up virtually 100% of the texture applied to the cavity.
Because there is literally no shrink in the part, draft and undercut situations become more important when planning what textures to use and at what depths. Locating the end of the part at the shear edge before texturing by a scribe is important. On many compression tools, we are instructed to stay a certain distance away from the shear. The shear edge is often flame hardened when we receive the job for texturing and this can create differences in the texture as the flame hardened areas will etch at a different rate than the rest of the surface. Try to confine the flame hardening to the shear itself, and not out onto the class "A" surface of the part if at all possible.
Please remove all wear plates from the block before sending it for texturing. Also, since many compression tools are oil cooled, please be sure that all openings into the cooling system holes are plugged. Otherwise, oil could leak out into the etchant and cause contamination.
There have been occasions when we¡¯ve been called upon to etch a pattern or a logo into a copper electrode. Since it is an electrode, the texture will need to be applied in the "positive" and any logos, etc. will need to be readable in the copper and debossed. We can texture copper, but NOT copper-tungsten or graphite.
Vacuum Form Molds
We texture a good number of vacuum form molds, usually in aluminum, but also in copper or carbon steels like P20, etc. The vacuum form process has a tendency to pick up only a percentage of the depth and visual appearance of what is applied to the mold itself. We can often texture deeper than the part is to be molded, within the structural limits of the actual pattern chosen.
The vacuum holes require unique processing techniques to assure the protection of your tooling during texturing. Please discuss the protection of the vent holes with your texturing source.
It is also important that you remove any vacuum lines, electrics, etc. from the mold before sending it in to us for texturing.