Thermoforming

THERMOFORMING TECHNOLOGY

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCTIVE PROCESS

Materials

The majority of thermoplastics may be used. They must be in sheet form (sheet or rolls).

Tools (Moulds)

They may be made of the following materials

  • Aluminium: Undefined life cycle. For long series. Provides good finish for parts.
  • Resin: Prototype phase. Short series.
  • Wood: Practically in disuse today. Samples or short series.
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Thermoforming process

Consists of the following steps:

  • Board extrusion
  • Placement of board on the mould
  • Heating
  • Moulding by applying vacuum
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PROCESS PHASES
  • Preparation
    • The mould is placed in the thermoforming machine.

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  • Placement
    • A plastic sheet (for example, ABS) is placed on the mould.

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  • Heating
    • The plastic sheet is heated until it softens.

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  • Moulding
    • Vacuum pressure is applied, and this removes all of the air under the plastic. The atmospheric pressure on the plastic makes it adapt to the mould.

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  • Cooling
    • With an internal mould cooling circuit and fans, the plastic is cooled. Once sufficiently cooled, the vacuum is turned off.

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  • Removal from mould
    • The plastic is removed from the moulding machine. The sheet has taken on the desired shape.
    • Excess plastic is removed, and the part remains clean.

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