Vacuum Forming

Vacuum Forming

Vacuum forming is a simplified version of thermoforming, whereby a sheet of plastic is heated to a forming temperature, stretched onto a single-surface mold, and forced against the mold by a vacuum (suction of air). The vacuum forming process can be used to make a wide variety of products such as product packaging, speaker casings and car dashboards.

Vacuum forming is usually, although not always, restricted to forming plastic parts that are rather shallow in depth. Thin sheets are formed into rigid cavities for unit doses of loose objects that are carded or presented aspoint of purchase items. Thick sheet is formed into permanent objects such as turnpike signs and protective covers. Normally draft angles are present in the design of the mold (a recommended minimum of 3°) to ease removal of the formed plastic part from the mold.

Relatively deep parts can be formed if the formable sheet is mechanically or pneumatically stretched prior to bringing it into contact with the mold surface and applying vacuum.

Suitable materials for use in vacuum forming are conventionally thermoplastics. The most common and easiest to use thermoplastic is high impact polystyrenesheeting (HIPS). This is molded around a wood, structural foam or cast or machined aluminum mold, and can form to almost any shape. Vacuum forming is also appropriate for transparent materials such as acrylic, which are widely used in applications for aerospace such as passenger cabin window canopies for military fixed wing aircraft.Vacuum forming is often used in low-level technology classes for an easy way to mold.

If a project or a certain product requires vacuum forming, MGC can act as your intermediate and help yourealize your production.