Canadian Plastics

Largest thermoforming tool built with new material

What may be the largest tool for thermoforming parts has been built in the U.S. using a new castable tooling system, Espor (54), according to Tom Schade, vice-president and general manager of Internat...

March 1, 1999   Canadian Plastics



What may be the largest tool for thermoforming parts has been built in the U.S. using a new castable tooling system, Espor (54), according to Tom Schade, vice-president and general manager of International Mold Steel, Inc., currently the only North American supplier of the material. The tool, which weighs just under 3000 lb., is for a large, unspecified interior auto part. A porous aluminum, Espor is the castable counterpart to Metapor (see below), a machinable porous aluminum also supplied by IMS. The porous nature of both Espor and Metapor eliminate the need for costly drilling and channeling, while providing an even-pressure vacuum over the entire surface of the mold. The castable properties of Espor however, says Schade, allows highly accurate duplication of leather grains and other tiny geometric textures at a lower cost than other alternatives. The tool built with Espor is a tryout tool IMS is using to demonstrate the material’s performance to a number of interested customers.

“We decided to build this tool ourselves to show what Espor can do,” says Schade. “The material has been used to make production tools in Europe with good results.”


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