Performance Plastics – Family Molds for Advanced Materials

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A family mold is a mold that produces different parts using the same base.  There can be multiple cavities for different part numbers.  Family molds often have a building cost advantage over molds dedicated to a single part number.

A common usage is to combine two halves of housing into a family mold. Halves are purchased in sets which makes running them together a good option.  They don’t have to be run together, so a shut-off runner must be included which allows one or more cavities to be turned off during production.

Family molds are often more practical than dedicated molds with moderate production volumes, whereas dedicated multiple cavities would be more expensive.  But family mold layout design is demanding and requires experience when dealing with advanced materials.

There are big differences between the properties, processing methods, and applications of various advanced materials.  Engineers need to understand the properties of the materials when using a family mold.  All advanced materials have benefits and deficiencies, so this understanding is key to the success of a project.

The conditions encountered when forcing molten plastic through a mold’s sprues, runners, and gate change as the mold becomes larger, and more complex, which impacts the molding process and material quality.  Thermal variations within a family mold become more of a concern, increasing the risk of partially filled cavities as well as part deformation.

Performance Plastics are experts in precision injection molding.  We have developed proprietary tooling, unique metallurgy equipment, and processes that produce custom-molded plastics such as fluoropolymers, Ultem®, PEEK, and Torlon®.  We leverage our high-performance polymer expertise and technology to develop thermoplastic compounds and techniques to maximize your family mold and provide the best quality on your mold investment.

For more information on family molds and how they can benefit your application, please contact Rich Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at [email protected] or visit our website at