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Surface Treatments For Molds

Author : Matthew McKernan

Submitted : 2010-05-12 18:11:03    Word Count : 440    Popularity:   13

Tags:   corrosion resistant coatings, wear resistant coatings, coating solutions

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The two most popular surface treatments are hard chrome and electroless nickel plating. Hard chrome and electroless plating are used to help protect the mold and the molds from corrosion and wear coating. This type of technology is continuously advancing to help extend the life of the equipreventive maintenanceent and also to help reduce downtime. As these machines develop, so does the need for corrosion resistant technologies.

Many types of mold coatings based on a range of metals have been available for the last two decades, and at least five more have appeared in the recent years. The growing use of high-performance resins containing higher percentages of glass and mineral fillers, metal powders, wood fibers, flame retardants, and other potentially abrasive or corrosive materials are making these higher-end coatings worth a second look. They can impart at least 10% higher resistance to wear and corrosion while raising release performance by a similar amount. The thin metal films can also help to reduce maintenance and extend the life of the tool.

Remember, that no coating will last forever, and making substandard parts from a mold with a worn coating is not a way to win customers and stay profitable. Preventive maintenance is the most cost-effective strategy you can put in place. The key is to educate your personnel on how mold coatings wear during production. Every coating is different, so it's of benefit to have employees learn how to tell when the coating is showing deterioration, especially in high-wear areas such as gates and runners.

For example, wear in and around gate areas plated with hard chrome is the first sign that your mold needs servicing. How can you tell there is wear? The chrome coating is approximately 20 RC points harder than the base steel, so exposed steel will wear much faster than the coated surfaces surrounding it, causing a slight or pronounced edge or "step" on the surface.

On the contrary, nickel will wear almost evenly, causing a kind of a feathering technique effect, making it more difficult to recognize the wear. A better way identify the difference will be the color because when nickel coating wears, it will produce a shadow or halo effect on the steel. No step or edge will be evident. The steel also will have a more silver appearance compared to the somewhat tarnished look of the nickel coating.

This knowledge makes pulling a mold for maintenance before the coating wears through an ultra important aspect of a preventive maintenance program. To miss important wear signals means more costly repairs and additional polishing expense.

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Click on the links provided for more information on corrosion resistant coatings, wear resistant coatings and coating solutions.

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