FAQs – Prototyping & Fixture Materials

Question 1  |  Why do tooling boards come in different colors?


Answer 1 - There are several formulations of tooling board, and the density of the product varies with each. The color helps to differentiate the density of each board and helps customers keep their inventory organized so there are no mistakes as to which density of product they have in stock.


Question 2  |  Why do tooling boards come in different densities?


Answer 2 - The appropriate density to be used is determined by the final intention of the pattern, model or fixture to be fabricated. Lower density tooling board is used primarily for prototypes. Higher density boards are normally used for master models and checking fixtures, where wear resistance and durability is required.


Question 3  |  Can I use the same cutting tools when machining composite tooling board of different densities?


Answer 3 - Yes and No. The required cutting tool, speed of cutting head and the feed rate all depends upon the density of the tooling board being machined. Higher densities boards require carbide cutting tools and usually higher cutting head speed with a slow feed rate. Please feel free to contact us for specific machining recommendations.


Question 4  |  What sizes does Modulan Tooling Board come in?


Answer 4 - The primary thicknesses of Modulan available are 1”, 2”, 3” and 4”.  In certain densities, we also offer 6” and 8” thickness. Tooling board widths are typically 20” and 40” wide, and in some densities we also offer 24” widths. Lengths are normally either 60” or 80” overall. Actual net sizes are in metric measurement.


Question 5  |  What kind of adhesive is used to bond Modulan Tooling Board products?


Answer 5 - As a general rule, urethane adhesives are used for tooling boards that are less than 40# density and epoxy adhesive are used for tooling boards with higher densities. However, the type of adhesive used often depends upon the desired cure time. 


Question 6  |  Why are composite tooling boards (like Modulan) used in lieu of making patterns and models out of high grade wood products?


Answer 6 - Historically, models and patterns were fabricated with wood materials and some tools still are. But for the past 25 years, composite tooling boards have become more prominent because the allowable tolerances by manufacturing companies have become more stringent. These stricter tolerances have paved the way for the acceptance of composite materials. Wood is organic matter and will deform and lose shape over time, whereas composite tooling boards are much more homogeneous and more stable.