Click to ExpandThis blog will cover the basics of thermoforming and how it helps different industries stay on top of the market with its practical and financial benefits. What Is Thermoforming? Thermoforming transforms plastic sheet into a 3-dimensional shape using heat, vacuum, and pressure. In this process, plastic is heated to its softening point and then stretched across a single-sided mold to be shaped. Thermoforming has three specific methods: vacuum forming, pressure forming, and twin sheet forming. Vacuum Forming Vacuum forming involves forming a part by heating plastic sheet across an open mold using a vacuum. This process uses a pressure limited to 15psi to help mold the plastic sheet. Pressure Forming Pressure forming also utilizes a vacuum and positive air pressure. However, this process generates three to four times more forming pressure than vacuum forming. Pressure forming achieves fine details and surface textures on the mold without incurring extra costs. Twin Sheet Forming Twin sheet forming requires two sheets of plastic to be heated and formed simultaneously using two molds, one at the top and the other at the bottom. In this process, a fused joint is placed around the mold’s perimeter, and air pressure is injected between the plastic sheets. Thus, this method is excellent for thermoforming plastic hollow parts with distinct upper and lower shapes. Like other manufacturing processes, these thermoforming methods also have stages. They all start with designing before moving on to prototyping, final tooling, production, and shipping. Benefits of Thermoforming Thermoforming offers several advantages that make it a promising manufacturing method for your plastic product. The benefits of thermoforming plastic include the following: Cost-efficient for various industries Excellent for manufacturing large components Has short prototyping and development lead times Easy to add details and custom designs Requires low tooling investment The advantages of thermoforming plastic make it a preferred manufacturing technique across multiple industries, including the automotive industry. This process is widely used to make exterior and interior appliques, instrument panels, and consoles. Thermoforming also serves the technology, packaging, medical, marine, HVACs, agriculture, and aerospace industries. Improve Your Product With Jamestown Plastics! Serving many industries, including automotive, medical, electronics, consumer goods, and the general industrial sectors, Jamestown Plastics is one of the most diversified plastic companies today! We provide customers with many options for completing their projects, including thermoforming. Our various facilities feature light gauge high-speed in-line thermoforming lines with robotic automation, as well as heavy gauge sheet thermoforming equipment with robotic and CNC router trimming lines. Jamestown Plastics maintains ISO 9001:2015 certification as well as offering ISO Class 7 and ISO Class 8 clean room thermoforming. We can also make your product using a wide selection of light and heavy gauge materials — ABS, PETG, HIPS, APET, RPET, PVC, PP, biodegradable materials, different types of polyethylene, acrylics, anti-static and ESD materials, and more! Using our methods and expertise, we aim to offer our customers the highest level of quality. We do all our design and tooling work in-house, so we have complete control over every aspect of a project and can reduce lead times if necessary. Tell us more about your needs, and contact us today!