Heavy Gauge Plastics Thermoforming
Also know as thick gauge thermoforming.
On single station one clamp frame, double-ended two clamp frames that alternate in a shared oven or rotary one clamp frame that rotates from station to station thermoforming machinery utilizing vacuum, pressure, heat, and molds to form various parts and components .080″ .375″.
When thermoforming a heavy gauge sheet fed part or component, a cut plastic sheet is secured inside a clamp frame and transported through one or more heating stations until the material is pliable. Then, the sheet is sent into the forming station for molding.
Many heavy-gauge thermoformers utilize vacuum and pressure during this process to ensure good detail and deep draw capability. After the sheet has been molded and cooled, a burst of air pressure is employed to assist in the release of the part off of or out of the tooling. A limited number of formers offer break-way tooling to facilitate the ejection of detailed parts or those with negative-draft and or undercut areas.
Common materials utilized in this process are ABS, Kydex®, Polystyrene, PETG, Acrylic, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Nylon and for higher temperature requirements PPS, Ultem®, and Polycarbonate. Many of these materials are offered in a number of grades (general purpose, FDA, aerospace and flame retardant), textures and colors.
This process provides for the housings, enclosures, radome covers, bezels, seating frames, and panels found in variety of industries including unmanned systems, defense components, Aircraft Components, Aerospace, Defense, Electronic Components, Food, Industrial, Medical, Pharmaceutical Blister Packs and more industrial manufacturing.
Finally, the part is removed from the clamp frame, all break-away tooling is removed from the part and it is ready for the secondary operations including trimming (5-Axis CNC Routing or Off-line Die-cutting) to the final shape, drilling, cutting and or secondary assembly via mechanical fasteners, sonic welding, adhesive or solvent bonding.
Maryland Thermoform, most thermoforming companies recycle their scrap and waste plastic, either by the baling like resins or by feeding directly into a grinder and producing ground flake for sale to reprocessing companies or for re-use in their own facility. Frequently, scrap and waste plastic from the thermoforming process is converted back into extruded sheet for forming again thermoforming
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