Entering the third dimension - The term ‘vacuum moulding’ generally refers to the process of taking a sheet and ‘extruding’ or casting it ‘thermoplastically’. To do this it is clamped onto a moulding machine, heated and then sucked by a vacuum onto or into a mould underneath. Once it has been ‘vacuum formed’ the sheet is cooled down and then ‘demoulded’. Some of the key things to keep an eye on during vacuum forming are: the size of the part, the material being used and its thickness. Plates can be processed anywhere between 1 and 12 mm in thickness. As a rule this process tends to exert less stress on the material. Thinner sheets can easily be moulded into large areas. The beauty of this is that it enables you to reduce the overall weight of the finished product.
The 6 main advantages of deep draw processes at a glance
1. Uniform quality from beginning to end of the production cycle
2. Clean, flawless surfaces
3. Tremendous flexibility in pre and post production
4. Low wastage
5. Extremely short lead times for planning and making and setting up moulds
6. Flexibility to quickly change trimmings and create alternative trims.