There are different types of aluminum, and there are also different types of plate. In the most basic sense, there are two general ways to create aluminum, one is cast aluminum, and the other is called wrought aluminum.
In addition, there are different types of plate. Tool plate also called cast tool & jig plate is manufactured to very exacting standards. This means that the plate is designed to specific tolerances with regards to variations in thicknesses, for the degree of flatness on the surface, as well as other precision requirements.
The Cast Aluminum Advantage
Cast aluminum tool plate is made with a very controlled method of production that creates a specific molecular structure. The structure is fine grained, creating an internally stable final product. This means that it is dimensionally stable and, when machined, it will not deform like other types of plate.
It is ideal for tight tolerance types of manufacturing since there is no change in the plate flatness and surfaces even after machining. Molds for injection modeling, jigs or guides as well as tools are typically made out of cast aluminum tool plate for this reason.
For any type of outdoor or marine application, or even for use in processing where moisture and humidity is a concern, the corrosion resistance of this material makes it the perfect choice.
Workability, Machining and Welding
Compared to other options in aluminum alloy plates, quality cast aluminum tool plate is very easy to work with. It can be machined using both WIG and MIG welding techniques, and it can also be easily welded using resistance welding.
Machining and workability cast plate is also good to excellent. Most machine shops, fabricators and OEMs will find this is an ideal type of plate to use across most applications.