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Midland Plastics Custom plastic components manufacturer, fabricator and assembler

Custom Vacuum Forming

Vacuum forming is the process of taking flat, thermoplastic sheet, heating it until it is formable, creating a vacuum under the sheet and then letting atmospheric pressure (14 p.s.i.) force the material over, or into, a mold.

Vacuum forming typically produces 3-dimensional parts that have slightly rounded edges and softer corners. In addition, the vertical edges of a vacuum-formed part will have a small taper (called a draft angle) in order to facilitate removal of the part from the mold. (Note: For customers requiring sharper corners and edges, Midland recommends pressure forming.)

Custom Vacuum Formed Parts

Some typical custom vacuum-forming applications:

  • Trays
  • Housings
  • Covers and lids

Midland uses three-station rotary presses with the capacity to produce finished parts measuring up to 54 by 70 inches, with a depth (draw) of up to 2 feet. We can use a variety of molds, both male and female, made of a variety of materials, depending on the application and number of parts needed.

In theory, almost any thermoplastic material is formable. Midland vacuum forms most frequently with these plastics:

  • ABS
  • Styrene
  • Acrylic/PVC Alloy
  • Acrylic
  • PETG
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • PVC
  • Polycarbonate
  • Butyrate

Ridge Forming

In applications where optical clarity in the primary part surfaces is critical, Midland offers customers a type of vacuum forming called ridge forming. Ridge forming utilizes wire or skeletal molds to reduce or eliminate the risk of the material touching a solid tool, except where a plane change is required.

Typical ridge forming applications are medical or food service equipment.

 

Custom Vacuum Forming from Midland Plastics