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Lightweight Plastic Thermoforming Solutions

Advantages of Lightweight Plastic Thermoformed Components

  • Reduced fuel and energy costs

    The mass of a vehicle has a direct relationship to fuel and energy consumption
  • Lowered emissions

    Reduced fuel and energy consumption equates to lower emissions
  • Reduced maintenance costs

    Reduction in mass correlates to longer life of components due to less load bearing stress over time (moving and mechanical components, brakes, tires, propulsion systems)
  • Reduced logistical costs

    Lighter weight parts are less expensive and easier to install, ship, relocate, or handle

Weight Comparison – Thermoplastic, Fiberglass, and Metal

Lower material specific gravity (mass) means the finished component will be lighter and contribute to a lower overall product weight. There are countless variations and formulations of thermoplastic, fiberglass, and metal materials, each with its own unique specific gravity (details can be found on material manufacturers’ websites and material data sheets). However, if you look at the average weight of some of the most common brands and types of materials available, you can derive some basic comparisons.

Plastic thermoformed parts are 30 – 40% lighter than fiberglass parts 6 times lighter than steel 1/2 the weight of aluminum

Lightweight Plastic Thermoforming Applications

The lightweight and cost effectiveness of plastic thermoforming make it an ideal choice for a wide array of industry applications. Lightweight thermoformed parts are commonly used to replace fabricated sheet metal components and also offer some unique advantages over parts constructed with FRP (fiber-reinforced plastics) and RTM (resin transfer molded) manufacturing processes. Whether your project is a new design or a process conversion from an existing one, vacuum forming your components with Productive Plastics can be an ideal solution for countless applications and industries.

Looking for more technical information?

Download the Thermoforming Design Guide, Process Comparisons, Conversion Guides, and other useful thermoforming information from our technical resource library.

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