Midland uses drape forming (also called oven forming) when a plastic part requires a more general, or gradual, bend than heat bending processes can provide. It works well on both large and small parts.
Usually, we produce a mold with the desired curve for the part. If the material is thin, we may place it into the mold and apply pressure while it is cold. Then we bring the mold and material up to forming temperature in an oven. After it reaches the right temperature, we cool the mold and the material. Once the temperature of the material reaches room temperature, the material will retain the shape of the mold.
If the material is thicker, we will pre-heat it to forming temperature, then place it into the mold and hold it in place. After it cools, it retains the shape of the mold.
Midland has used drape forming in such applications as:
- Seatbacks & bottoms