Twin Sheet Thermoforming – A Better Choice
So, we know you’re wondering ‘what processes can twin sheet thermoforming replace?‘ Terrific question! To complete our series on Twin Sheet Thermoforming, we are going to talk about some of the processes that twin sheet thermoforming can replace. In our first post, we explained to you exactly what twin sheet thermoforming is. Next, we discussed materials that are compatible with the twin sheet process. To wind up the twin sheet thermoforming series, we’re going to discuss the benefits of twin sheet over various other processes. The twin-sheet thermoforming process typically results in structural, hollow, light weight parts. Other common manufacturing processes that make hollow parts are Roto-molding and Blow-molding, as well as Composite Construction with FRP. We’ll discuss a little bit why the twin sheet forming process can be a better alternative for your project.
Roto-Molding (or Rotational Molding)
Due to the nature of the rotomolding process, it is very typically used to construct large tanks. The material employed for the roto-molding process is generally polyethylene. The scope of many projects is severely restricted due to the limited material choice. We have the luxury of working with almost any thermoplastic material when using the twin sheet forming process.
An additional downside to roto-molding is the very slow cycle time. Large volume projects typically require a significant lead time, in addition to requiring many molds. Importantly, cycle time and numerous molds are not a problem with twin sheet vacuum forming.
The blow molding process is similar to twin sheet thermoforming in that you can use almost any thermoplastic resin. The blow molding process works best with projects that are large volume and small parts. Plastic bottles are a great example of a typical blow molded product. Although you can produce large parts with the blow molding process, ultimately the tooling and equipment costs cause it to be much less cost effective.
FRP – Fiber Reinforced Polymer
Twin sheet thermoforming is also a great replacement for Composite Construction with FRP (fiberglass). Significant weight reduction of the part is a primary benefit of the twin sheet process over fiberglass. Equally as important, is the fact that FRP construction brings with it EPA concerns, which are not applicable to the twin sheet process.
When you wonder ‘what processes can twin sheet thermoforming replace?’, give us a call. We would love to answer that question for you. Take a look at our gallery of parts using the twin sheet process. Contact us today to see how twin sheet thermoforming can benefit your custom plastic parts project.