What is Thermoforming?
Thermoforming is an industrial process in which a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, which allows the plastic to be formed into a specific shape in a mold. It also allows trimming the plastic into a usable product. The plastic sheet or film refers to a thinner gauge and a certain material type that we can heat in an oven to get a high temperature, which allows us to stretch it into a mold. Thereafter, we can cool it into a finished shape. The simple version of this process is named vacuum forming.
In the process of thermoforming, we can use a small tabletop or lab size machine in order to heat small cut sections of plastic sheets. Therefore, we can stretch it over a mold using a vacuum. The thermoforming process is useful for sample and prototype parts.
The thermoforming process is different from processes such as injection molding, blow molding, rational molding, etc. Primarily, this process is useful in the manufacture of disposable cups, containers, lids, trays, blisters, clamshells, etc. when thin-gauge thermoforming is used. Thick-gauge thermoforming is useful in the manufacture of vehicle parts, dash panels, refrigerator liners, utility vehicle beds, and plastic pellets.
Generally, thermoforming companies tend to recycle the scrap and waste plastic by compressing it in a baling machine. Sometimes, this is achieved by feeding the material into a granulator to produce ground flake which is suitable for sale to reprocessing companies or to is re-used in the company.
What is Injection Molding?
Injection molding is an industrial process that is used for producing objects by injecting molten material into a mold. This process uses a host of materials, including metals, glasses, elastomers, confections, and thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers.