Are You Wondering “What Is Twin Sheet Thermoforming?”
We’re here to answer the frequently asked question “What is Twin Sheet Thermoforming?” The twin sheet thermoforming process lives in the background of the thermoforming world, not well known, nor understood. Related processes, vacuum forming and pressure forming have been around and widely accepted for years. However, the technically challenging process of twin sheet thermoforming is relatively unheard of. Put quite simply, twin sheet thermoforming is either vacuum forming or pressure forming two sheets simultaneously. The process involves the use of two molds, one on each platen.
Once formed, the top and bottom platens are brought together quickly, so as not to lose surface temperature. At this point, they mechanically lock together, thus preventing pressure loss when air is injected into the cavity between the two sheets. Additionally, this locking process applies extremely high pressure. This pressure ensures that the mold features intended to create beams, come together, compressing the material to about 50% of its starting thickness. This process causes the material to spread out, resulting in more surface area for the weld. The increased surface area creates a very robust weld.
The twin sheet process results in a hollow part whose geometry creates many I-beams. Due to these beams, we end up with an incredibly strong, yet lightweight part with molded features on both sides. The picture shown above is a floor for a large animal laboratory. The floor is designed to support up to a 1,000lb. hooved animal. Additionally, the flooring contains plumbing for ease of cleaning. This cross section clearly illustrates the I-beam structure. Read more about this twin sheet formed structural flooring system here.
Hopefully we have piqued your interest regarding twin sheet thermoforming! Stay tuned for more answers to the question “what is twin sheet thermoforming?“. Also read more about it here.