Power Drape Forming is a Basic Thermoforming Process
The Elevator is comprised of several drape-formed clear panels that make up various doors and wall sections. The material we used is clear Acrylic, drape-formed to a radius. We have a challenge in making the parts from this clear material. An example of this is dealing with airborne particles in our plant. These particles can potentially create distortion in these panels by becoming trapped between the hot acrylic and the mold. Thus, we chose to employ the drape forming process to minimize any visible contamination. Another challenge we face is the lack of vacuum-pressure. This pressure would normally hold the part positively to the mold during the cooling phase of the process. The lack of pressure makes it difficult to hold the radius of the part to acceptable tolerances. We therefore need to constrain the parts in cooling fixtures to achieve these tolerances.