LET’S DISCUSS TWIN SHEET THERMOFORMING…
FOR STRONG, LIGHTWEIGHT, 3D PARTS
Twin Sheet Thermoforming is a more technical version of the vacuum forming or pressure forming processes. We begin by forming two sheets of plastic, essentially simultaneously, with separate molds on the top and bottom platens. Next, once the plastic has been molded, it remains in the molds, and while still at its’ forming temperature, the two molds are brought together under high pressures, thus causing the two sheets to weld together wherever the molds dictate a weld. Significantly, this twin sheet forming process creates beams, thus providing additional strength. The parts are hollow and have molded features on both sides.
In the twin sheet forming process needles are inserted into the cavity during the molding process. The needles are inserted between the 2 sheets to facilitate cooling, and to apply pressure. Additionally, this process will allow pressure equalization as the part changes elevation.
We refer to our Twin Sheet Thermoforming capability as “Technical Twin Sheet”® thermoforming. ATI has refined the process of “Technical Twin Sheet”® forming, which emphasizes our ability to work with tight tolerances and the full spectrum of engineered polymers.
Materials We Work With For Twin Sheet Thermoforming
With the Technical Twin Sheet Thermoforming process, we can work with all engineered thermoplastics including:
- TPO – ThermoPlastic Olefins
- FR – ABS Family of Plastics
- PPE Family, including Radel & Ultem
With the Twin Sheet Thermoforming process we have had success using:
- Materials With Different Thickness for Either Sheet
- Different Materials for Either Sheet
- Contrasting Colors for Either Sheet
With our process of Technical TwinSheet Thermoforming®, we have stretched the limits of regular Twin Sheet vacuum forming, thus enabling us to meet significantly higher tolerances in trim and molding. Moreover, we have developed the tooling and knowledge to hide the parting line, allowing us to produce very cosmetic parts.
The Twin Sheet Thermoforming Process possesses the following advantages over blow-molding and rotomolding
TWIN-SHEET THERMOFORMING ADVANTAGES
|COMPARED TO BLOW-MOLDING||COMPARED TO ROTOMOLDING|
|• Tooling and Machines Are More Cost-Competitive For Small to Modest Run Sizes|
• Each Sheet May Be A Different Thickness, Material or Color
• More Flexibility With Parting Line Structure Is Possible
• Ability To Produce Very Cosmetic Parts
|• Many More Resin Types Are Available In Twin Sheeting|
• More Structural Beams Can Be Created In Twin Sheeting
• Much Higher Production Rates