What does a vacuum have to do with plastic fabrication? In the world of plastic, it has quite a bit to do with fabrication in that a vacuum is powerful enough to shape and form plastic to meet specific shapes and dimensions. If you’ve ever seen a big plastic cover for a machine, or a curved plastic fish bowl, you’ve seen plastic that has been vacuum formed!
Domes and bubbles are the most common vacuum-formed shapes for plastic, however plastic vacuum forming in Utah is often used in conjunction with thermoforming to produce a wide range of formed products.
How does vacuum forming work?
Despite its seemingly complex theory, vacuum forming plastic is quite simple! In just 6 steps you can go from general plastic sheeting to a finished, formed product:
- Plastic is heated up to a very high temperature in an oven, raising its malleability and allowing it to be manipulated without fear of cracking or breaking.
- Heated plastic is pulled down onto a mold, which is the inverse of the final shape desired for the plastic.
- The mold contains many small holds connected to a vacuum so the plastic is sucked tightly around the mold.
- While the plastic is on the mold, it’s cooled and hardened in the molded shape, thus creating the final form.
- Once sufficiently cool, the plastic is removed from the mold and the process is started again for the next plastic sheet.
- Excess plastic is cut off of the molded piece to achieve a clean look and a finished product.
Plastic types that can be vacuum formed include ABS, acrylic, polycarbonate and more, allowing for a myriad of possibilities when it comes to customization.
Vacuum and plastic thermoforming in Utah are often met with a lot of questions by interested customers. Some of the most common questions we get include:
- Can you custom-design a mold for the part I need? Yes, we have staff on-site to help with this process! Custom molds incur specialty mold creation fees.
- Once the mold is created, can you mass produce the item I need? Yes, we can achieve runs of all sizes based on your need. Bulk orders can potentially include bulk pricing.
- Do you have an upper item limit? No, we can mass-vacuum form as many pieces as you need.
- How much does it cost to have items vacuum formed? Call us today for pricing as it pertains to your specific job.
If you’re looking for a custom vacuum formed product, get in touch with D&D Plastics today by calling 801-373-0202!