Custom Pressure Thermoforming
Productive Plastics is a leading provider of custom plastic pressure forming services. Productive Plastics can provide product design and manufacturing engineering assistance in conjunction with pressure forming contract manufacturing. Productive Plastics is ISO 9001:2015 registered, with over 65 years of plastics experience and extensive technical expertise in pressure thermoforming.
What is Pressure Thermoforming?
Pressure thermoforming is a plastic thermoforming manufacturing technique within the broader term of the plastic thermoforming process. In pressure forming a 2 dimensional thermoplastic sheet material is heated to a forming optimal temperature and then positioned over a custom mold or tool. Positive pressure is then applied above the heated sheet, pressing the material into the surface of a mold to create the desired 3-dimensional part shape. Once the now molded part cools and hardens, the part is removed and further processed to specification.
Why Use Pressure Forming?
Pressure thermoforming has advantages over other plastic, metal, and FRP production methods. Here are some potential benefits that would make pressure forming a good choice for your plastic part:
High degree of surface detail
Pressure forming pushes thermoplastic material onto a mold surface. This results in an extremely high level of surface detail capability, texturing, and other in mold surface features. The level of detail attainable can rival or even exceed the capabilities of injection molding.
Design aesthetics and branding capabilities
Pressure thermoforming can produce parts with in mold complex geometry such as radii, undercuts, louvers, surface texture, and other branding. Thermoplastic can also be painted, silk screened, and capped with other materials. Integrated material color and pattern options are also available and can also alleviate the need for post production painting.
Large Part Capability at Low Cost
Productive Plastics can thermoform parts up to 84" x 108" at a fraction of the tooling cost it would take to produce the same size part with other plastic manufacturing processes, such as injection molding.
Lightweight material benefits
Plastic thermoformed parts are up to 6 times lighter than steel, half the weight of aluminum, and 30 – 40% lighter than fiberglass counterparts.
Rugged and industry compliant material performance
One of the greatest advantages of thermoplastic is its versatility at the polymer level. Thermoplastic material formulations are available that meet even the strictest requirements in strength, durability, impact resistance, FST, and weather resistant of industries from aviation and mass transportation to medical device and industrial equipment.
Low tooling investment
The tooling investment for plastic thermoforming can be half the cost of injection molding for a small part and up to 1/5 of the tooling investment for a large part. This is attributed to the highly engineered pressure requirements and necessary number of mold faces needed for injection molding.
Multi-part assemblies and projects
Productive Plastics utilizes advanced tooling and plastic thermoforming to produce multiple part projects with precise tolerances and attachment points for virtually zero gap assemblies.
Moderate annual volumes (250-5000)
Compared to most other manufacturing processes, plastic thermoforming has a significantly lower total part cost at low to moderate part volumes of approximately 250-5000 parts a year.
Rapid product development
Fast tooling construction and streamlined processing typically can produce samples within 8-10 weeks.