Custom Pressure Forming
Custom pressure forming is similar to vacuum forming except that it uses greater pressure in molding the finished part. Like vacuum forming, it turns a flat, thermoplastic sheet into a three-dimensional part by heating the sheet until it is formable. The sheet is then forced into a mold under high pressure. Typical pressure for this type of forming is 40 to 50 pounds per square inch – and in some cases pressures may exceed 100 psi. By contrast, vacuum forming is done at 14 psi.
Midland’s custom pressure forming offers our customers many benefits:
- It produces sharper edges and corners that give parts an injection-molded look for a much lower tooling cost.
- It incorporates texturing directly into the mold rather than on the sheet. This allows for multiple surface textures on one part.
- It allows molded logos and lettering to be incorporated onto the surface of the part.
Although the cost of pressure forming tooling runs between 30 and 50% more than vacuum forming tools, it is still significantly less than typical injection-molded tooling. With the addition of movable tooling to create undercuts and bosses, customers can have an injection molded look at a fraction of the cost.
Midland has years of experience with such custom pressure forming applications as:
- Control pads
- Medical instrument covers
- Monitors and housings
As with vacuum forming, we use pressure forming most frequently for these plastics:
- Kydex (acrylic/PVC alloy)
Custom Pressure Forming from Midland Plastics