Tooling covers an array of manufacturing; ranging from extrusion and stamping dies to complex inspection, assembly and welding fixtures to machine tools. Each category has a unique thermal processing requirement and X3 Innovations' expansive service offering ensures the services needed can be delivered.

Brazed moulds

During the injection moulding process of thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics, the mould must not only form the part, but also dissipate the heat at the cavity surface and allow for easy ejection of the finished plastic component. This must be done in a well thought out tempering system in order to configure the shortest possible cycle time while delivering a quality finished piece.

Injection moulding tools often employ vacuum brazing techniques with heat treatment integrated into the production process.


Forming and extrusion dies used in supply chains’ mass production lines must resist wear and fracture so as to avoid costly unplanned shutdown of the process line. In addition, maintaining the surface finish is important.

For these reasons, necessary heat treatments are usually carried out in a vacuum furnace. Parts may be vacuum hardened and then be given a gas nitriding treatment. Ion nitriding is also often used and results in less distortion (lower temperature), better core properties and a shorter cycle. Typical treated parts include:

  • Stamping dies
  • Extrusion dies
  • Forging dies
  • Investment cast die
  • Shot sleeve
  • Roll forming dies
  • Dowel pins

Jigs and fixtures

Jigs and fixtures are expensive pieces of equipment which have to resist wear and maintain dimensional accuracy, in order to provide acceptable finished parts. In addition, a pleasing surface finish is also often required.

Vacuum hardening is normally used to attain the required strength. This can be followed by nitriding where additional wear protection is needed. Typical treated parts include:

  • Machining jigs
  • Assembly jigs
  • Inspection fixtures

Machine tools

Machine tools have a multitude of design requirements. They must be strong enough to withstand operational loading, tough in areas where subjected to impact and hard so as to resist wear.

Most machine tools are vacuum hardened to attain core properties. After which, local case hardening is carried out. This may be by nitriding, ferritic nitrocarburising or ion nitriding. Typical treated parts include:

  • Tool holders
  • Punches
  • Collets
  • End mills

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Brazed moulds, Dies, Jigs and fixtures, Machine tools