Process Thermoforming (Vacuum forming)
Well suited for larger plastic parts since tools investments are low. Also used for high volume production of e.g. disposable cups and chocolate packaging. The surface facing the mould has the best quality. Material thickness is difficult to control.

A sheet of thermoplastic material is heated to the softening point. The sheet is positioned over a mould with small air canals, and a vacuum pulls the sheet into the mould.

Vacuum is normally sufficient due to the low strength in the material being formed, but for a more complex geometry, additional air or mechanical pressure can be applied.
Danish Name Termoformning (Vacuumformning)
Category Mass conserving processes, Shaping plastics
Materials Most thermoplastics
Typical products Dolphin, bicycle trailer base part
KimBox suitcase
Appliance housing
Disposable cups
Commercial sign
Shaped packaging
Refrigerator inside panels
Competing processes Rotation moulding
Blow moulding
Injection moulding
References Bramstoft & Wassmann ApS
Cretex A/S
Helge Buch's Eftf. ApS
Price notes Low tooling costs
Additional info Difficult to produce small details.
Photo Thomas Nissen (Computer graphics)
Copyright © 1996-2003 Torben Lenau
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