Small Beads

Thermoforming and Vacuum Forming

Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape using a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product. The product is then taken off the mold and excess plastic is trimmed and recycled.

This fast and inexpensive technology requires less lead time and has lower tooling costs than injection molding or machining while also offering a lower part cost than 3D printing.

Thermoforming Sheets and Applications

Thermoforming is compatible with a variety of materials that can achieve a wide range of thermal, mechanical and chemical properties. Below, we’ve put together a little guide to the materials we commonly use for thermoforming and some of their ideal applications. The applications include but are not limited to the below mentioned examples. If you’d like more information about any of the materials listed below, reach out to us at sales@induthermoformers.com

HIPS Plastic

It is a low cost, tough plastic that is easy to thermoform and fabricate.
 

Used for

  • Point-of-purchase displays

  • Packaging trays

  • Printed graphics

  • Thermoformed machine housings and parts

  • Models and prototypes

  • Shelves

  • Kiosks

  • Fixtures


 Food-safe versions available

ABS Plastic

Medium cost plastic material with outstanding impact resistancemachinability, and thermoforming characteristics.

Used for

  • Machine housings, guards, and covers

  • Instrument panels

  • Models and prototypes

  • Point-of-purchase displays

  • Storage cases and display bases

  • Thermoformed displays, trays, and tote bins


Can made be flame-retardant or UV-resistant by blending with other materials. 

HDPE Plastic

Moderately hard, chemical and thermal durability makes it well-suited for chemical-resistant containers. Higher shrink rate than other materials, increases variability between parts.

Used for

  • Chemical tanks

  • Material handling trays

  • Pallets

  • Cutting boards for food preparation

  • Outdoor and indoor playground systems

  • Marine construction (pile guards, bumpers, anti-skid surfaces)

  • Orthotics and prosthetics

  • Outdoor cabinetry and furniture


 

Polycarbonate

Moderately expensive plastic with high stiffness, impact strength and temperature resistance, plus options for UV and scratch resistance.

Used for

  • Indoor and outdoor signs

  • Architectural glazing—medical facilities, retail and government buildings, and transportation 

  • POP displays and graphic holders

  • Skylights

  • Face shields

  • Machine guards, sight glasses

  • Semiconductor machinery components

  • Transparent manifolds


PET Plastic

PETG

(Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol)

Strong, stiff engineering plastic with excellent machining characteristics, chemical resistance, and bearing and wear properties. 

PETG is often used for food processing machinery applications where low moisture absorption, low thermal expansion, resistance to staining, or resistance to cleaning chemicals is required.
 

Used for

  • Signs

  • Sign and graphic holders

  • POP displays and store fixtures

  • Product and table top displays

  • Thermoformed trays

  • Prototypes and models

  • Orthotic and prosthetic devices

  • Machine guards and housings


PVC Plastic

PVC

(Polyvinyl Chloride)

Hard engineering plastic with strong mechanical properties and high chemical and electrical resistance. Can be rigid or flexible.

Used for

  • Welded chemical tanks

  • Manifolds

  • Valve and pump housings

  • Fittings

  • Piping systems

  • Cabinets and working surfaces


 

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a low cost, chemical resistant plastic with excellent aesthetic qualities. It is easy to weld using thermoplastic welding equipment and is often used in food packaging applications

Used for

  • Flexible and rigid packaging

  • Automotive industry

  • Consumer products like housewares, furniture and luggage 


ASA.jpeg

ASA (Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate)

ASA has high outdoor weatherability; it retains gloss, color, and mechanical properties in outdoor exposure. It has good chemical and heat resistance, high gloss, good antistatic properties, and is tough and rigid.

Used for

  • Exterior Covers

  • Automotive  Housings

  • Signage

  • Marine Applications

  • Consumer Electronics

PLA.png

PLA (Polylactic Acid)

Made from renewable resources like corn starch, tapioca roots, or sugarcane. Its properties, however, are comparable to other plastics in the industry.

Used for

  • Food Packaging

  • Medical housings

  • Signages

  • Point of purchase displays

  • Structural applications