thermoplastic thermoforming / medium series / small series / technical parts
small series, medium series
In thermoforming, a flat thermoplastic sheet of specific size is clamped in place, heated to its softening temperature, and then forced against the contours of a mold or form by either air or vacuum, pressure or by mechanical means. Once cooled, the thermoformed part retains the shape of the mold or form. The part is then trimmed and separated from the remaining sheet material, which is recycled for reuse.
There are three general types, which are:
Vacuum forming: a sheet of plastic is heated to a forming temperature and forced against the mold by a vacuum.
Pressure forming: In addition to utilizing a vacuum, air pressure is applied on the back side of the sheet to help force it onto the mold. This additional force allows the forming of thicker sheets and creating finer details, textures and sharp corners.
Mechanical forming: A core is in this process who force the material to get the die form. This process is usually combined with pressure or vacuum to obtain better results.