Vacuum Forming Producing plastic objects using and.
The Vacuum Forming Process1. The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft.2. The softened sheet is draped over a mould.3. A vacuum sucks the sheet into / onto the mould.4. The newly shaped sheet is taken off the mould.
Typical PLASTICS used in the vacuum forming process POLYCARBONATE (PC)Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) POLYSTYRENE (PS)
Further PLASTICS used in the vacuum forming process POLYPROPYLENE (PP) POLYETHYLENE (woven sheet) PE POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC)ACRYLIC(PMMA)
Advantages of the Vacuum Forming Process• Vacuum forming uses low pressures so only relatively low cost equipment / components are required.• Low pressures mean that moulds can be made of inexpensive materials and in a short time.• Prototypes, small and medium quantity runs can be extremely economical. .
Disadvantages of the Vacuum Forming Process• More complicated machines and moulds are needed for automatic or continuous production of ‘high volume’ items, eg. disposable cups and sandwich packs.• The vacuum forming process starts with a flat plastic sheet and there may be a need for a second process to trim the moulded end product. This means more expense to obtain additional equipment.• NB. The trimmed waste, however, can be re-ground and recycled!
Summary of the Vacuum Forming Process1. The process requires heat, suction, and (thermo)plastic sheets.2. Hot air is required to soften the plastic sheet and allow it to conform easily to the shape of the mould.3. Vacuum is then used to suck the plastic to the mould.Vacuum Forming is one of the mostCommon methods of producing bothlow and high volumes of moulded usefulforms that play a major role in our lives.