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The Best Materials for Making Plastic Molds 1.2311, 1.2312 and 1.2738 Steel

Recently, our Songshun Steel provides 1.2311, 1.2312, and 1.2738, which are on promotion. We have received many purchase requests from customers, and we have also received inquiries from customers from Turkey, Mexico and Egypt about technical issues in manufacturing plastic mold materials. Due to the different materials, they did not choose the steel suitable for their products, resulting in the inability to guarantee the quality and stability of the products. So they don’t know which of the three types of steel, 1.2311, 1.2312, and 1.2738, is most suitable for making their products. So what is the best material for making plastic molds? Choosing the best material for your project application is crucial.

Plastic molds are products widely used in many industries. They need to have sufficient surface hardness and wear resistance, excellent cutting processability and thermal stability, good polishing performance, etc., and can withstand not only high-pressure environments, but also temperatures influence. The types and structures of plastic molds are also diverse. Therefore, we need to carefully consider these factors when choosing materials for making plastic molds.

So, which of the three common steel materials 1.2311, 1.2312, and 1.2738 is the most suitable for making plastic molds?


1.2311 steel, also known as P20 steel, is an economical and high-performance pre-hardened plastic mold steel that can achieve high surface quality when manufacturing molds.

  • Advantages: 1.2311 has good wear resistance, cutting performance, surface treatment performance, weldability, compressive strength and high hardness, etc.
  • Application:
    (1) Due to the low sulfur content of 1.2311, it is easy to process and form the required mold shape, which makes it perform well in the manufacturing of some simple-shaped plastic molds.
    (2) It is usually suitable for manufacturing small and medium-sized plastic molds. For example, plastic molds for general-purpose small and medium-sized plastic products, household appliance parts, plastic containers, bottles, barrels, etc.
  • Price: The price range of 1.2311 plates provided by Songshun Steel is between FOB 800-880 USD/ton.


DIN 1.2312 steel is a commonly used mold steel with a higher sulfur content and is also equivalent to P20+S steel. It is suitable for manufacturing many types of plastic molds and is an improved 1.2311 steel.

  • Advantages: 1.2312 has better wear resistance, toughness, easier processing and welding, higher hardness and mirror polish, etc. than 1.2311. It also has better compressive strength, good corrosion resistance, and electrical properties. Corrosion performance, mirror grinding performance, etc.
  • Application:
    (1) 1.2312 is generally suitable for manufacturing plastic molds with higher requirements, such as molds that require high mirror polish or more complex shapes.
    (2) 1.2312 steel is particularly suitable for manufacturing some plastic products that require high mold surface quality, such as optical components, transparent products, etc.
    (3) It is also often used to manufacture thermoplastic corrosion plastic molds, small and medium-sized plastic molds with high precision requirements, plastic molds for electronic product casings, plastic molds for optical components, etc.
  • Price: We provide 1.2312 steel in various specifications, with prices ranging from FOB 850-1000 USD/ton.


Mold steel 1.2738 is a high-quality material with added nickel element, also known as P20+Ni steel. It can meet more and higher requirements for manufacturing plastic molds, adapt to harsher working environments and longer production cycles, making the manufactured molds more stable and reliable during the working process.

  • Advantages: 1.2738 has excellent heat resistance, wear resistance, processing performance and mechanical properties. It also has higher hardness and compressive strength, better corrosion resistance, easier processing and welding, etc. And without the need for heat treatment, there is no risk of quenching cracks or heat treatment deformation, and its wear resistance and scratch resistance are better.
  • Application:
    (1) 1.2738 is usually used to manufacture large, high-demand or complex plastic molds, such as car bumpers, TV casing molds, auto parts molds, industrial container molds, etc.
    (2) It is also used to manufacture large plastic molds with high output requirements such as refrigerators and air conditioners.
    (3) 1.2738 is suitable for manufacturing plastic product molds that require the mold to work stably for a long time and withstand high-strength impact.
    (4) It is also suitable for plastic molds requiring high smoothness.
  • Price: Songshun provides high-quality 1.2738 steel in various specifications, in stock, at favorable prices, only FOB 900-1200 USD/ton.

Analysis and Summary

To sum up, 1.2311, 1.2312, and 1.2738 are all suitable for manufacturing plastic molds. But the materials used to make different plastic molds are also different.

In terms of performance, 1.2738 steel usually has higher hardness and wear resistance than 1.2311 and 1.2312 steel, and the performance of 1.2312 steel is also better than that of 1.2311. So generally speaking, 1.2738 steel is usually more suitable for manufacturing large, high-precision plastic molds, while 1.2311 and 1.2312 steel are suitable for manufacturing small and medium-sized plastic molds with general requirements.

In terms of price and cost, 1.2311< 1.2312< 1.2738.
So if you need to make small to medium sized plastic molds and want to consider cost-effectiveness, 1.2311 steel may be a good choice.

In short, if you need to manufacture small and medium-sized plastic molds and are cheap, choose 1.2311; if you need to manufacture small and medium-sized plastic molds with higher surface quality and performance requirements, choose 1.2312; if you need to manufacture high-end plastic molds, large For plastic molds or plastic molds with high precision and higher requirements, choose 1.2738. The final fit depends on factors such as the characteristics, shape and size of the plastic mold you need to make, and production requirements.

We in Songshun have all three types of steel in stock, with guaranteed quality and favorable prices. If you have any needs or have any technical questions about steel, please feel free to contact us via email or send us a WhatsApp message.


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