One of the oldest and most common methods of processing plastic materials
What Is Vacuum Forming?
Vacuum forming is a plastic thermoforming process in which thermoplastic sheets are formed into 3-dimensional shapes through the application of heat and pressure. In general, the term refers to all sheet forming methods. Drape forming is one of the most commonly used processes. During vacuum forming, the plastic material is heated in automated vacuum forming equipment until it becomes pliable. Next, the sheet is then placed over a mold and drawn in by a vacuum. Once the material has cooled, the sheet takes the shape of the mold. Afterward, air blows back into the mold and separates the new part from it. A 5-axis CNC router or die cutting is then used to trim required detail into the product. Molds can be textured to impart different finishes using a female mold and positive air pressure. Here is a list of the most common materials used in vacuum forming:
Advantages & Common Uses of Vacuum FormingVacuum thermoformed parts are frequently used to replace fabricated sheet metal components with complex shapes which require excessive welding, grinding, and finishing. Custom vacuum thermoformed parts are highly competitive with FRP (fiber-reinforced plastics) and RTM (resin transfer molded) parts in moderate annual production volumes (150-3,000). The following list represents possible examples of situations which benefits for selecting vacuum forming for the production of your plastic parts:
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