M1 & M5 Aluminum Mold Plate: A Comparison

January 5, 2023
Latest company news about M1 & M5 Aluminum Mold Plate: A Comparison

Both M-1 and M5 aluminum mold plates are widely used in mold and plastics manufacture. Because aluminum shares mechanical, chemical and physical characteristics with many other metals, it is a popular choice for machinists and engineers. Aluminum is readily available in a wide range of alloys and it can be difficult to know which alloy is the best choice for each application. Aluminum alloy choices are made even more difficult when they are as similar as M1 mold plate and M5 mold plate.


Seen here, M1 aluminum mold plate performs exceptionally well even under high temperatures. Unlike wrought alloys such as 6061 or 7075, does not lose any mechanical properties when welded. Neither the directly welded M-1 nor the adjacent metals changes appearance after being welded.



What Is Aluminum Mold Plate?

Aluminum mold plate can be defined as high-strength, dimensionally stable, extremely dense aluminum plate. Mold plates, such as M1 and M5, perform excellently in high temperature applications because of elevated heat transfer capabilities. These features of aluminum mold plate allow for increased cycle times throughout the manufacturing process, increases throughput, and drives increased profits by decreasing machining time. When compared to steel, the lighter weight and machinability of aluminum mold plate are why so many manufacturers are choosing these aluminum products for their applications.


What Is M-1 Aluminum Mold Plate?

Produced by Alpase, M-1 aluminum mold plate is a mold plate that was developed for plastics and moldings industries. Just like any other aluminum mold plate product, M-1 possesses such attributes as stability during the machining process, excellent performance under high temperatures, a uniform grain structure and highly consistent Brinell hardness. Because M-1 mold plate is cast, cooled, and then homogenized, the grain structure found throughout the plate is metallurgically uniform. M-1’s machining rates are three times greater than that of steel. So, it is no wonder why M-1 is rated very high for machinability. Even with increased machining rates, M-1 yields itself to nice surface finishes. These finishes conform well in certain hard-coat anodizing applications and includes Nickle coating. Unlike wrought alloys, this non-heat treated mold plate alloy maintains its mechanical properties in and adjacent to welded areas. In basic terms, M1’s grain structure does not change when welded. Unlike welding heat treated alloys, such as 6061 or 7075, welding M-1 does not result in a heat affected zone. Welding M-1 results in no changes in appearance or performance of m1. Decreased production times and increased productivity are direct results of M1’s high thermal conductivity. M1 aluminum mold plate results in cost effectiveness and drive profits in manufacturing. For all of these reasons, M1 is a top choice for the mold and plastics industries.


Common Uses for M1 Aluminum Mold Plate

When all of M-1’s product features and benefits are considered, this alloy is proving to remain a top choice for many manufacturing applications previously held by wrought aluminum alloys or even steel. Both injection molding and tire molding are very common industries that utilizes M1. When compared to steel, m1 mold plate has a thermal conductivity 3-5 times greater. Thus, cycle times are reduced and throughput increased. Secondly, composite molds are a popular place for this alloy. Wrought alloys can exhibit permanent loss of mechanical properties when exposed to elevated temperatures. But, this is not the case for M1. With higher thermal fatigue properties, not only is M1 found in composite molds, but it is also widely utilized in R.T.M and rotational molds. Thermal conductivity, dense grain structure and elevated Brinell hardness also make M-1 a top choice in rubber molds and blow molding. Simply put, if you need tough aluminum that can take the heat, choose M-1 aluminum mold plate.


What Is M5 Aluminum Mold Plate?

Like M-1, alloy M5 is also produced by Alpase in Chino, California. M5 aluminum mold plate offers all of the performance of M1. Not only that, but this alloy also has a few added benefits. First, M5 boasts a 5% reduction in weight when compared to M-1. Also, M5 polishes and offers an improved anodize response. Regardless of thickness or size, m5 mold plate has consistent mechanical properties and uniform hardness. these characteristics allow for ease of machining. Both the tops and bottoms M5 plates are machined. This can reduce steps in the manufacturing process. Similar to M1, M5’s characteristics also include dimensional stability and exceptional weldability. Finally, the added benefit of phenomenal corrosion resistant lends itself to a minor difference between these two Alpase aluminum mold plate products. If you need some help in choosing what alloy is right, contact us. We can help you with this predicament as well as all your aluminum questions.


Applications for M5 Aluminum Mold Plate

The industrial applications of the two mold plates are very similar. Both alloys are a top choice in injection molds, blow molds, structural foam molds, and rubber molds. Therefore, you might think there isn’t much difference. However, M-5 is Ultrasonically Inspected for porosity. This tight, uniform grain structure makes it an optimal choice not only for the industries previously listed, but also for compression molds and vacuum forming tools. The micro-structure of the plates are rated as vacuum tight. Thus, there is no performance concern in applications where a good seal is needed. M% is available in a size range of up to 30” thick, 96” wide, and 195” long. Worry not: M5 can fit the build no matter the size.


If you are in search of aluminum mold plate or any other aluminum product, let us show you the ropes. Our team has the knowledge to help you find the right product for your application because we are a 100% aluminum distributor with over 90 years of experience.. After all, we know aluminum because aluminum is all we do. Contact us today by requesting a quote or calling 800.344.0311 today. Have you seen what we saw?