Thermoforming or Vacuum Forming is a method of processing thermoplastic sheet or film into a formed part. A thermoplastic is a polymer that can be melted or softened when heated and hardened when cooled. This type of plastic can be reheated and reformed over and over. Thermoforming achieves a comparable product to injection molding at a fraction of the tooling expense, utilizing equivalent materials.
Our Thermoforming production uses two single sheet shuttle thermoformers with a maximum impression of 5’ x 7’ to 6’ x 9’ with 24 to 42 inch draw capability for inexpensive tooling costs across a wide variety of materials finishes.
- ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
- PP – Polypropylene
- TPO – Thermoplastic Poly Olefin
- PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride
- PC – Polycarbonate
- Sheet gauges range from .090” up to .450” in co-extruded variants of materials, including printed patterns and UV protective caps.
Thermoform / FRP
National Composites is now offering the up-and-coming technology of FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics) reinforced thermoform plastic. This new process combines the cosmetics, surface durability, and cost-effectiveness of thermoform plastic with fiberglass’s strength and structural durability. First, we form the sheet into a mold on our in-house thermoform machines. Next, we put that molded sheet on a fixture and apply FRP chop spray to the B-Side of the molded sheet utilizing a specialty bonding resin. After that, the part is CNC trimmed, inspected, and is ready for shipment.
In this procedure, a sheet of vinyl is heated and stretched to cover a substrate that has been treated with a heat sensitive adhesive. This provides a “premium soft touch” feel. This process is typically used on dash panels and other parts requiring more cosmetic and textured surface.