Simple Female Mold Construction: A Diagram
Female Mold Construction
Of all the advantages offered by composite materials, their ability to be molded to complex shapes is perhaps the most popular. When a shape needs to be reproduced numerous times, it is most efficient to build a tool or mold within which the part can be fabricated. Molded parts emerge perfectly shaped every time and require little post-finishing work.
It is important to note that there are two types of molds, a “female” and a “male” mold. This refers to the placement of the composite material on your mold. You might also see these referred to as positive and cavity molds, and their use differs within the industry.
A male mold is a form that mimics the shape of the finished part, with the fabrication being placed over its outer surface. While this is quicker, it results in a rough outer texture which will take extra time to complete its finish. Generally, male molds are not recommended for productions of five or more parts.
A female or cavity mold will offer numerous advantages when used in medium to large production runs. Finishing time for each part is significantly reduced because each part (placed inside the mold, as opposed to a male mold)will emerge with a smooth outer surface.
Molding or “stamping” has been used for years to shape metal products like car bodies, home appliances, and industrial fixtures. Metal stamping dies are cumbersome and cost thousands of dollars to produce. Only large companies can afford to build, operate, store, or even move these tools. Composite materials offer a cost effective way for anyone to make even large production runs of identical plastic parts in molds they can produce themselves.
Female or cavity molds offer numerous advantages for medium to large production runs. Finishing time is significantly reduced because every part emerges with a smooth outer surface. Below, you will find a basic guideline on the construction of a female mold, links to our whitepaper on mold construction and molding fiberglass, as well as a video series on the construction of a mold.
Looking for more information on mold construction? Be sure to check out Fibre Glast’s Learning Center, where you can find detailed articles such as our white papers Mold Construction, Molding Fiberglass, Plug Surface Preparation and Mold Surface Maintenance, and What do I Need for my Composites Project?