Twin Sheet Vacuum Forming

twin sheet cushioning panel Associated Thermoforming Inc.

Twin Sheet Vacuum Forming Process Compatible With Most Thermoplastics

We continue our series on twin sheet vacuum forming with a discussion about materials we can use in the process.  We can employ the twin sheet vacuum forming process with almost any thermoplastic, and we’ve worked with most of them.  ABS, styrene, TPO, polyethylene, TPU, polypropylene, polycarbonate, and PETG make up many of the thermoplastics used in twin sheet thermoforming.  That being said, however, some materials can be problematic, especially if the sheet is too thin.  Some of the more problematic plastics include polycarbonates, Radel, Ultem, as well as other PPEs.  These plastics lose their heat very quickly.  Thus, we must quickly achieve the weld before too much heat is lost on the joining surface.  Typically, crystalline materials, such as TPO and polyethylene are the best candidates for welding in the twin sheet process.

Finding Experienced Twin Sheet Thermoforming Companies Can be Challenging

We frequently encounter engineers looking for twin sheet thermoforming companies, as not a lot of thermoformers have that technical capability.  The flexibilities offered by twin sheet vacuum forming are quite intriguing to many of the engineers we work with.  One such flexibility is the ability to combine more than one type of resin.  We have a great deal of success in combining different resins with the twin sheet process.  As a rule, we can form and weld any thermoplastic to another, different thermoplastic, with some caveats.  Probably the most significant requirement for success is that both materials must have relatively similar mold shrink. Otherwise, as the product cures, there could be significant warp issues due to one material shrinking dramatically more than another.

Let’s Try Two Different Gauged Materials With Twin Sheet Vacuum Forming

In addition to the ability to twin sheet different materials, we can also use different gauges with this process.  We can weld two different gauges, as so much of the strength is achieved thru part geometry, not material mass.  The two parts illustrated below demonstrate the use of different gauges.  Our twin sheet sample part is a great example of two different materials as well as two different gauges.  The door of the 3-D printer shown is another example of welding two different gauged materials.  Request a sample to see what we refer to.

Twin Sheet Sample Associated Thermoforming Inc.
pressure formed 3D solid printer Associated Thermoforming Inc.