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What Is Thermoforming?

By August 22, 2020 September 14th, 2020 No Comments
a row of plastic stadium seats

Thermoforming plastic is ideal for numerous applications. It’s a cost-efficient way to fabricate parts, pieces, and products of all sizes and purposes. The plastic used in the process is typically available in various thicknesses, which adds to its overall versatility. But what is thermoforming plastic? It won’t do to simply tell you that it’s innovative across a wide reach of applications. You need to understand what it is and how it can benefit your business.

Thermoforming Defined

Put simply, thermoforming is a technique that is used to mold plastic. It lends itself well to a wide array of products that people use in their daily lives, ranging from plastic packaging to industrial uses. The fabrication process is interesting and reveals the versatility of thermoforming plastic. It involves heating up sheets of plastic until they are soft and malleable. At that point, the plastic sheet gets stretched across a mold, where it is then manipulated into the appropriate shape.

The Process of Thermoforming

To fully understand what thermoforming plastic is, it helps to learn about the various methods used to heat and mold the plastic. Vacuum forming is one of the most common methods. It relies on a combination of heat and pressure to shape the plastic. After the plastic sheets are heated to the right state and fitted over the mold, fabricators will use a vacuum to form it.

Pressure forming is another method that is similar to the use of a vacuum. However, extra pressure provides much more detail. Also, it creates more textures. Typically, it’s the preferred method for any job that values the aesthetic of the final product.

Common Applications for Thermoforming

plastic food packaging

Thermoforming plastic is beneficial in an array of applications. Packaging is one of the primary uses. It’s especially ideal for rigid packaging that contains consumer goods and certain food items. Thicker sheets of plastic can be thermoformed for use in the automotive and industrial sectors, but it’s also useful for the fabrication of hard plastic trays and impact-proof mirrors and glass, not to mention POP displays and greenhouses.

The Benefits of Thermoforming

In addition to knowing what thermoforming plastic is, it’s helpful to understand why it’s so widely used. Thermoforming plastic is beneficial all across the board, beginning with its adaptability. Whatever your needs, it’s likely that plastic can be thermoformed to suit your desires. Because the entire process is so quick, you can also be assured of speedy turnaround time. Not only is that helpful in general, but it’s also beneficial when you need to create a prototype for a new product or a new project.

Polymershapes is a leader in the fabrication industry, and we’re experts at thermoforming plastic. You can give us a call to discuss the specifics of your project and let us know what you need so that we can provide you with a quote.

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