Mold useful for injection molding of plastics, and methods of production and uses thereof
A mold useful for injection molding, comprising: a porous network of metal and oxidized metal and a cured epoxy resin dispersed in the porous network. The mold can be prepared by a process comprising the sequential steps of (a) forming a mixture of a metal powder and a polymer binder; (b) heating the mixture at a temperature in the range from about 100.degree. C. to about 300.degree. C. to remove a majority of the polymer binder from the mixture; (c) heating the mixture resulting from step (b) at a temperature greater than about 300.degree. C. and less than the melting point of the metal in the presence of oxygen to oxidize at least a portion of the metal to form a self-adhering porous network of metal and oxidized metal; (d) contacting the self-adhering porous network with an epoxy resin to fill at least a portion of the porous network with epoxy resin; and (e) curing the body resulting from step (d) to form the mold. The shape of the mold can be performed by selective laser sintering of the mixture.