Selecting the right tooling board

Selecting the right tooling board for an application is about more than just personal preference or always using the same product. Choosing the right material ensures the best possible finish of the final part and optimal production efficiency.

key Considerations

A crucial aspect to consider when selecting the right material is the physical properties:

Density - the higher the density the more robust the board, meaning finer details are machined easily. Lower-density tooling boards are ideal for creating models and prototypes as they are easy to shape.  

Temperature and Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) - The lower the CTE, the less the tooling board will expand as temperatures increase. Choosing a material with low CTE ensures precision and consistency in the mould.  

Dimensional stability – Tooling boards with excellent dimensional stability reduce the risk of expansion or shrinkage and maintain their original shape throughout manufacturing and subsequent use.  

Surface finish – the tool's surface finish directly impacts the look of the final part. Materials that boast a great surface finish remove the risk of defects and improve the overall durability of the tool. 


Your Application

Tooling board selection depends on your application.

Epoxy is the material of choice for advanced composite applications where low CTE, dimensional stability and excellent surface finish are essential.  

Polyurethane offers a cost-effective alternative for design, styling and prototyping projects, vacuum forming, thermoforming, and manufacturing jigs and fixtures. High-density materials offer a solution for hammer and metal forming, foundry patterns and Reactive Injection Moulding (RIM). 


BE978 tooling board being machined on a CNC machine showing detail achieved

Epoxy Tooling Board

  • Superior dimensional stability
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
  • Excellent surface finish
  • Suitable for direct-to-part manufacturing
  • Material of choice for high-temperature applications High up to +190 OC
  • Inert material that is chemically compatible

Polyurethane Tooling Board

  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Cost-effective alternative for design, styling and modelling applications
  • Easy to work with
  • Can be hand styled and CNC machined
  • Excess material flakes rather than dusts
  • Wide range of densities available

get in touch to discuss your project requirements.