Plastics Thermoforming Service

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Plastics Thermoforming Service

Thermoforming plastics service Plastics Gluing, Bending

Thermoforming and vacuum forming are achieved by a hot drawing of thermoplastic sheets around a mold. Next, to guarantee a clear finish, any leftover air is sucked out.

The mold is then stripped from the product and the remaining plastic is trimmed and recycled. For custom trays, packaging, panels and casings, thermoforming are perfect.

Plastics thermoforming requires less lead time and has lower tooling costs than injection molding or machining, while at the same time providing lower component costs than 3D printing. While there are certain design drawbacks for thermoforming, it offers a wide range of materials and provides outstanding value for compatible projects such as 3D printing for prototyping.

1. Vacuum forming tool

The thermoforming vacuum tool is placed in a vacuum forming machine.

2. Heating

The thermoplastic sheet to be formed is heated from above and below to between +170-210 degrees C.

3. Pre-expansion

The thermoplastic sheet to be formed is heated from above and below to between +170-210 degrees C.

4. Vacuum forming

Using the vacuum the plastic material is formed over the forming tool.

5. Cooling

After cooling the forming tool moves downwards and the product is then ready for after-machining.

 

Compared to 3D printed materials, real thermoplastics are solid, durable, and inexpensive. We provide a wide variety of thermoforming plastics with thicknesses ranging from 0.020 'to 0.250 "(0.5 mm to .6.5 mm), including PETG, HIPS, ABS, PC, Acrylic, and much more. 

Thermoformed materials can satisfy a variety of mechanical and cosmetic demands, from conductivity and heat tolerance to FDA food-grade certifications, with so many material choices. The thermoformed materials may be rigid, flexible, transparent, or opaque. This versatility is ideal for applications including food, pharmacy, electronics, and engineering.

Thermoforming Applications and Materials

Thermoforming is consistent with a wide range of thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties that can be accomplished by a variety of materials.

Below, we've put together a little guide to the components and some of their perfect uses that we typically use for thermoforming. These materials can be used for several different items, even though we include some examples here. 

(Polystyrene) HIPS
Our most often-used plastic material. Inexpensive and workable. It can be brittle at low and off-gas temperatures at higher temperatures. Used for trays, covers and light-duty structural parts for packing. Available in food-safe models.
PETG (Terephthalate Polyethylene) (Polyester)
Moderately cheap material and strong barriers to water and oxygen. Capable of standing up to considerably lower temperatures than HIPS. Also used for healthy food applications, packaging for freezers, and bottles of water.
ABS (Butadiene Styrene Acrylonitrile)
Medium-cost, impact-resistant engineering plastic that can be mixed with other components to be flame-retardant or UV-resistant. Used for high-end packaging and structural elements of moderate-load.
Kydex T (ABS / PVC) or Acrylic / PVC (Kydex 100)
Expensive high impact resistant flame-retardant manufacturing plastic. Used for structures, covers and enclosures of moderate-load that require fire resistance. Kydex 100 is our radome-go-to stuff.
(Polycarbonate) PC
Moderately costly manufacturing plastic with high resistance to hardness, effect strength and temperature, plus UV and scratch resistance choices. Used on tablets, TVs, lights or lenses, and high-temp software for glass replacements. Difficult to mold, particularly for fine details.
(Polyethylene) PE, HDPE or LDPE
Moderately hard, cheap plastic with high resistance to chemicals. May not emit gas at elevated temperatures. For chemical-resistant tanks, chemical and thermal resilience makes it well-suited. Higher rate of shrinkage than other materials, which decreases the life of the instrument and increases variability between components.
PP (Polypropylene Propylene)
Moderately priced PE alternative with enhanced thermal and mechanical characteristics. A greater chemical tolerance standard than the rest of the plastics. Used both as an aerospace plastic and for food touch applications.
PVC (Chloride of Polyvinyl)
Hard plastic engineering with efficient mechanical properties and elevated chemical and electrical resistance. It may be static or versatile. Used for those containers which are chemical-resistant.
The Acrylic
An inexpensive plastic with high UV resistance that is stiff and brittle. It's more difficult than most plastics to develop. Not meant for specifics or close turns. It is well-suited for outdoor applications due to UV resistance.