There are many different thermoforming applications. This chapter will examine those uses and explain why thermoforming is such an important process in the manufacturing industry. In other words, we will delve into the thermoforming industry to see its benefits. Note that the list is in no way exhaustive but a representation of some of the key uses of thermoforming machines today.
Examples of Thermoforming Applications
The ease with which plastics can be thermoformed into the shapes as desired by manufacturers is one of its greatest strengths. It enables this process to be used in nearly every type of industry where products are made, including automotive, pharmaceuticals and food production. In fact, it’s difficult to find an area where plastic sheeting cannot be found. Here are some of the thermoforming uses.
Thermoforming Packaging Products
The largest single area where thermoforming is used is in the packaging industry, accounting for more than 80 percent of the market. Some of the applications in this area include thermoformed food packaging products for meat and fresh fruits, effective blisters for pharmaceuticals, electronic products, and other hardware.
The thermoforming process makes it possible to use different types of plastics for containers to package food items, pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and virtually anything. But that isn’t the only benefit. The advantages of food packaging thermoforming, for example, include low cost, sustainability, sterility, and many sealing options.
Thermoformed packaging products are also easy to customize for texture, size, and other features such as volume and storage methods. In general, the options are endless and many businesses find it more profitable to use products that have been created in a thermoformer than other methods.
Large quantities of cups are made using the thermoforming process. The beverage industry, in particular, uses many cups for cold drinks such as soft drinks and juices. In order to make these items, the plastic is first formed into a cup inside a specialized machine called cup thermoformer.
Plastic cup thermoforming mostly uses PET, PS, or PP plastics. However, professional thermoformer manufacturers usually provide advice on the best material to use depending on the type of cup. They will also help create the right mold for your application.
A cup thermoforming machine is usually a plug assist type and capable of produced greater details in the final product as well as higher depths of draw. The most common type of thermoformed cups are the disposable cusps. With a disposable cups thermoforming machine, it’s possible to produce cups for outdoor catering services and other one-time uses.
Thermoforming Food Containers
In other thermoforming applications, areas, plastic containers are used to hold sandwiches and salads in delis and restaurants or dairy products such as yoghurt. The number of products that can be made using this process is virtually endless. However, all share one characteristic: they are needed in many different sizes and shapes.
The plastic sheet for thermoformed food containers (made out of PET, PP, ABS, or other plastics) has specific shapes that include bottles, jugs and containers of various sizes. It also includes the trays that hold pre-packages such as burgers, sandwiches and other food items.
The thermoforming machine used for making food containers must meet the health standards of a country. The type of thermoplastic used, too. Other important when thermoforming food containers include anti-tampering hinges, leak-free seals, and a variety of custom shapes depending on use.
A thermoformed plastic tray is a popular product of the thermoforming machine. These are used to hold different types of foods, from meat and salads to eggs. They help to make handling foods easier and safer by limiting item movement and helping prevent contamination.
A thermoforming tray machine is similar to any other thermoformer; only the mold changes. As a result, the trays can be many different sizes and shapes including customized designs. A thermoformed tray can also be made from a broad range of plastic thickness sizes depending on the type of product to be handled.
Thermoforming Medical Device Parts
Thermoforming shapes plastics into reusable and disposable medical device parts. It can form plastic components for catheters, dental fittings and many other items. Other thermoformed medical items include syringes, vials, and tools used by health practitioners.
Thermoformed parts are also used for the enclosures of testing and other equipment. Thermoformed products for the medical industry have these advantages: sterility, low cost production, and easy customization.
The thermoforming dental products, for example, require high quality material in terms of sturdiness and safety. It also calls for special molds. So it’s not uncommon to find a specialized dental thermoforming machine for the application.
Thermoforming automotive Parts
The process of thermoforming car parts is a significant industry in the automotive sector. With the recent stringent measures to reduce fuel consumption, there has been the need to reduce vehicle weight. Auto makers are meeting this demand by using thermoformed plastic parts to replace metals and metal alloys in cars.
According to research statistics, the market for thermoformed products in the automotive sector grew (and continues to do so) with a CAGR of 4%. There are several reasons for the specific use of plastic: Thermoformed car parts are lightweight yet sturdy and long-lasting. They’re also easy and fast to produce.
Examples of thermoforming applications in the transport sector include making the glove compartments of cars, trunk liners, bumpers, and door panels. Other thermoformed car parts are seats, arm rests and backs, and most interior finishing in general.
Thermoplastics are versatile materials and thermoforming a very useful process. From thermoforming cups and blisters to thermoforming packaging products, almost no other material is as easy to work with. Thermoforming has made possible all types of products that are used in our daily lives, including the ones mentioned above. Plus with the ease of creating a broad range of molds, the only limit on its use is the imagination of manufacturers who want to make products for the consumer.