Thermoforming is one of the oldest and most common methods of processing plastic materials. Vacuum formed products are all around us and play a major part in our daily lives.
The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft and then draping it over a mould. A vacuum is applied sucking the sheet into the mould. The sheet is then ejected from the mould. In its advanced form, the vacuum forming process utilizes sophisticated pneumatic, hydraulic and heat controls thus enabling higher production speeds and more detailed vacuum formed applications.
Virtually all thermoplastics can be supplied as sheet and vacuum formed. The more commonly used materials are listed below.
Typical Materials Used
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene ABS
Polyester Copolymer PETG
Polyethylene (sheet and foamed sheet) PE
Polyvinyl Chloride PVC