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Amorphous Alloys for Tool Inserts

State-of-the-art plastic injection molding machines are equipped with sophisticated peripheral technology to ensure the ideal mold wall temperature for each process cycle at short notice. However, this is coupled to a high energy input and also unintentionally heats up the entire mold mass. At the same time, this can also lead to longer cycle times, since the temperature fluctuations have to be compensated. Geometric and design solutions in mold inserts have already contributed small steps to the solution. However, more profound and complete approaches with an energy- and process-efficient focus can be realized primarily with 3D-printed tool inserts made of amorphous alloys. Due to the low thermal conductivity and high fatigue strength of this class of materials, results are achieved with fewer surface defects on the components and with increased lifetimes of the amorphous inserts than with a conventional steel insert. In addition, improved energy efficiency is achieved, i.e. less energy is used overall and a reduction in CO2 emissions is implemented. This approach requires neither peripheral equipment nor coatings, and cycle times can also be shortened because the surfaces are produced so well that they are comparable to aluminum molds, whose service life is comparable to that of steel inserts, and the required coating process step is not necessary. In addition, the risk of the coating flaking off during the injection molding process and having to be reworked is avoided.

Advantages of amorphous metals:

  • Low thermal conductivity: Peripherals not necessary, high energy efficiency and less CO2
  • Simplification: Coatings not necessary, improved lifetime (vs. conventional steel inserts)
  • Surface accuracy: Avoidance of surface defects (weld lines), uniform / higher gloss


  • Injection molded micro-optics
  • Injection molded plastic products with very high surface finish requirements
Micro-optics for tool inserts