Technical Data

TextureSource Technical Data

Texturing is a process with many specifications and options. It's vital that we have the necessary TextureSource technical data in order to produce the exact finish you want. We recommend calling us ahead of time to talk about your desired texture, service, or quoting needs. We have many customers that send drawings or marked-up sample parts with texturing requirements prior to shipping their tools. Alternatively, some customers include these instructions with the shipment of tools or products. Once we receive the information, we assist you with the technical requirements that we believe are necessary to avoid potential problems. This includes information on 'draft vs. depth' requirements, glosses, welds, masking, and layout. Having this information in advance is a great way for you to speed up the process and save money.

Surface Preparation

Because the process of texturing involves a chemical etching of a metal surface, it is necessary to have a finishing polish to remove scratches, machine marks, and EDM scales. In general, a 320-emery finish is sufficient for most patterns. However, some finer detailed patterns may require a much finer polish. Patterns that have a depth of 0.001" or less may be required to have a 400- to 800-emery finish.

Draft vs. Depth

Draft plays an important role in the release of a textured part. In general, for every 0.001" of texture depth, it is required to have a 1.5-degree draft. Example: A 0.003" depth would require 4.5-degree draft. However, requirements are able to change throughout the process due to different molding configurations, materials, and shrinkage. If the draft does not support the depth of texture on some sidewalls, it may be possible to hold the texture depth lighter on selected areas.


Gloss on a mold surface changes the visual effect on a textured part. Different molded materials may result in a different gloss appearance. Sometimes, it is required to leave a high-gloss finish on the mold surface to achieve a higher gloss on the molded part. Gloss on a mold surface can be adjusted from high to low. This is achieved by using different media in our blasting process. Glass beading is generally used for high-gloss, and aluminum oxide media are used for low-gloss. There is also a large selection of other media that we typically use. Note that gloss can be affected by many factors, including:

  • Mold Hardness
  • Mold Material
  • Welded Areas
  • EDM Scale
  • Surface Hardening

When it comes to molding, other factors to consider include:

  • Molding Materials
  • Core & Material Temperature
  • Cavity
  • Material Color
  • Cycle Time
  • Gating
  • Venting
  • Part Design
  • Texture Type

Steel Types

The etching process uses different chemicals for different types of steel. In the mold-building industry, it is recommended to only use materials that are commonly used for chemical etching. Chemical etching can be performed on many different materials used in the trade, including:

  • P-2O Tool Steel
  • H-13 Tool Steel
  • S-7 Tool Steel
  • 420ss Tool Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Kirksite
  • Casting
  • Copper
  • Brass

Please Note: One of the main enemies to etching is the nickel and chrome content in the base material. These materials will not react favorably to the chemicals used in the etching process and can interfere with the outcome of an etched surfaced.