What is Thermoforming?
Thermoforming is a process in which a web or sheet of rigid thermoplastic is heated until soft. It is then shaped over or into a mold using a suitable combination of vacuum, blow pressures and mechanical (plug or ring) assist. Once cooled, the thermoformed part is trimmed from the web or sheet with a cutting die or punch press.
Vacuum forming uses only vacuum, while thermoforming uses vacuum and pressure with a plug assist.
What industries are served by custom thermoforming?
Practically all. Major industry users include food, medical, automotive, cosmetic, hardware/house wares, construction, audio/visual, appliance, transportation, office equipment, computer, games, toys, military, agriculture, and electronics.
What is the difference between a “custom” thermoformer and a “proprietary” thermoformer?
Custom thermoformers are companies that manufacture thermoformed parts designed specifically for each customer on a per-job basis. Normally, a tool for each job is built for and owned by the customer. The proprietary thermoformers are companies that build parts from their own tooling. They then sell these parts to many different companies.
The ongoing development of new materials, equipment, and tooling technology has enabled thermoforming to find applications in areas which formerly utilized paperboard, glass, metal, wood, E.P.S. foam, etc. Since its beginning in the early 1950’s, commercial thermoforming has become increasingly important segment of the plastic processing industry. Compared to other plastic processing processes (injection molding, blow molding) thermoforming offers low-cost tooling, fast inexpensive prototyping, shorter production lead times, custom designs that can be easily modified, thin walled products, demand flexibility and exceptionally large part capabilities. Thus thermoforming facilitates ideas to reality.
Feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you may have concerning thermoforming at 1-610-376-1900.
It is what we do!
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