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Thermoforming mold materials- advantages and disadvantages

In the articles of the previous few weeks, we learned about the development history and application of thermoforming process and the technology, and we also knew clearly the flow of this thermoforming process and the production process of the product. For thermoforming molds, it also has its history of development. We have also explored and tried to use other materials as mold materials. Let me introduce several commonly used materials for our molds-

Wood mold-

About ten years ago, we tried to use wood material to make molds. The cost of wood is lowest, and it is easy to be cut by CNC machine. And it is also easy to manufacture and takes a short time, wood molds became the first choice in the product development and development stage at that time because of the low cost. But gradually, wood became more and more scarce, the cost of wood increased, and the wood mold would crack under the high temperature heating of thermoforming, resulting in product deformation. Later, people found that other materials were not expensive, so they used other materials. Metal materials replaced wood materials for thermoforming molds. Therefore, the mold materials used in the thermoforming process are basically metal materials, and wood molds are rarely seen.图片2

Plaster mold-   

Similar to wood molds, gypsum material is often used as the main material for making molds. The mold making process is similar to thermoformed product samples. The advantage is that the production cycle is short and the cost is the lowest. It only takes one to two days to make a whole mold, and the pore processing is convenient for processing.  The disadvantage is that the surface of the plaster mold is rough, resulting in poor product contact with the mold surface, and the mold is easily broken during production, and has poor durability. Some products with complex structures cannot be molded, and are not suitable for deep high, and  complex products.

Finally, gypsum molds are gradually not used for thermoforming molds, and are mostly used for other molding processes, such as furniture decorations, casting, etc.


Electroplating copper mold-

The process of electroplating copper mold is- spray a layer of conductive agent on the surface of the shell, and then put it into the electrolytic cell to plate a thick copper layer.

The electroplating process takes 72 hours, and then the copper mold is filled with plaster (increase the hardness), polishing, pores treatment, the advantage of using electroplated copper mold production is that the surface of the blister product is smooth, the cost is moderate, and the durability is moderate. The disadvantage is that the mold production cycle is long and the production of precision blister products cannot be completed. And the cost is high, and the process is also more complicated.And if the mold needs to be modified later, the cost and process of modifying the mold are also very complicated.


Aluminum mold-

The production of aluminum molds requires the use of computer design drawings first, and then CNC milling machine processing. The advantage is that the production cycle is moderate, the later mold processing time is short (the drilling of the air hole is completed during CNC processing), and the dimensional accuracy of the blister product is high. In the high-temperature processing of thermoforming, the aluminum material is heated quickly, uniformly heated and dissipated slowly, which is more stable for thermoformed products. In addition, the aluminum material is durable and has a long service life, even if it needs to be changed or repaired later, the aluminum mold can be better realized.

Therefore, in the current market, thermoforming molds are basically aluminum materials. Although aluminum materials are slightly more expensive than wood, aluminum materials will be chosen for longer-term considerations.The above is an introduction to the mold material and type of vacuum forming mold ,


Dongguan Ditai Plastic Company -( ) have been engaged in the thermoforming industry for more than 11 years, and we have produced more than 8,000 molds, which are basically aluminum molds.

If you have a project related to thermoforming process, you can contact me at any time, I believe we can give the most professional opinions and plans to realize your wild ideas :).

My email is

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