What Are the Stages of Vacuum Forming a Product?

January 30, 2019 12:38 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When people hear the term “vacuum forming,” they often think of it is a plastic fabrication process that has been around forever. Vacuum forming became popular in the 1930s and the reason it is still relevant today is because it works.

Vacuum forming has been combined with newer technologies, such as 3D printing, but overall the process has remained the same. No alternative process can match vacuum forming when it comes to low cost, efficiency and ease of tooling. At D & D Plastics, we love answering our customers’ questions about plastic vacuum forming in Utah. When people hear how it works, they are anxious to try it. That’s why we want to share with you the eight stages of vacuum forming a product:

  • Stage 1: When it comes to any type of thermoforming, a mold is required. The mold is typically made out of wood, and it is this mold that the plastic sheet will be formed around. Whenever possible, we try to ensure that the mold has angled edges, which makes it easier to remove the plastic from the mold once it has cooled.
  • Stage 2: Once the mold is created to meet the customer’s criteria and design, it is placed into a vacuum former oven. A sheet of plastic is clamped above, but not on, the mold.
  • Stage 3: In the vacuum former oven, the source of heat is placed above the sheet of plastic, so you have the heat source on top, followed by the sheet of plastic and the mold on the bottom.
  • Stage 4: The oven will heat up, warming the plastic sheet, making it moldable and flexible.
  • Stage 5: Using a special handle, the shelf that holds the mold is then slowly moved upwards and into the now flexible sheet of plastic.
  • Stage 6: This is the key step in the process. The vacuum for the oven is switched on, which removes the air from the oven and pulls the plastic around the mold, conforming it to the shape of the mold.
  • Stage 7: The mold covered in the plastic is removed from the oven and allowed to cool and set.
  • Stage 8: Finally, the mold is removed from the plastic and any excess material is removed from the now desired end product.

While there may be some minor variations to this process, depending on the end product desired by the customer, this process has essentially been the same for nearly a century. At D & D Plastics, we’ve been doing plastic vacuum forming in Utah for nearly 40 years. In that time, we have refined the process and our customers love the work we do.

If you are interested in learning more about plastic vacuum forming or the other plastic fabrication services we offer, or are even ready to get started on your own project, give us a call today. The friendly and knowledgeable experts at D & D Plastics are always ready to answer your questions and discuss your plastic fabrication needs.

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