Common Materials for plastic vacuum thermoforming
Depending on your application there’s a range of polymer sheets available on the market. However, if you’re looking for short runs, one of your biggest issues will be colour matching.
Unlike Plastic Injection Moulding, which is an additive production system, Vacuum Forming is subtractive. Often basic colours are available freely, but anything beyond that will be difficult to source unless you’re looking for one ton loads or above.
When choosing a plastic, you’ll need to consider application. Will your product be used inside our out? Will it be exposed to extreme heat or cold? Does the product need to withstand high impact? Are you looking for something that’s fire retardant?
As a general rule of thumb, we work to the following guidelines.
The following chart provides additional information about various plastic materials and their uses.
VC – Fire retardant, Good for outdoors use, Often used for non food based packaging and toy manufacture.
PE – High wear resistance and impact strength, High temperature resistance, High energy absorption, Self lubricating.
PP – Hygienic, impact resistant, ideal for food applications.
ABS - High rigidity and impact strength, Excellent chemical and abrasion resistance, Easily machined to close tolerances. Used for interior and exterior trims, machine parts, trays and home appliances.
HIPS – Often used for food, dairy and medical packaging applications where taste/odour sensitivity is key.
PC -polycarbonate,it is a most strong material, with high strength and elastic modulus, high impact strength, wide range of usage temperature.