Thermoforming: What It Is and When It’s Used

Thermoforming refers to the process of shaping plastic by heating a film and then molding it into the desired shape using specific molds. The shaped plastic is then trimmed and cooled, and specific machines are used for thermoforming.

Modern thermoforming plants, like those at Niada NBC, are designed to handle the entire processing cycle leading to the production of plastic shapes, and there are many different thermoforming techniques applied by specialized companies.

Different Thermoforming Techniques

While there are various techniques in thermoforming, NBC Niada specializes in vacuum thermoforming from reels and in creating packaging.

Vacuum thermoforming from reels is an industrial process used to produce three-dimensional plastic objects using a thermoformable plastic film sourced from a continuous reel. This process combines thermoforming – which involves heating a plastic film to make it flexible – with vacuum application to shape the plastic over a three-dimensional mold.

The process begins with a roll or reel of thermoformable plastic material fed into a specially designed vacuum thermoforming machine. The plastic film is then heated until it becomes soft and pliable. Next, the film is positioned over a three-dimensional mold, which can have the desired shape for the final product.

When the plastic film is correctly positioned on the mold, a frame is lowered over the sheet to create an airtight seal around the mold. A vacuum is then applied inside the mold by suctioning air through it. This vacuum creates a pressure difference between the upper and lower side of the plastic sheet, making the sheet adhere to the mold’s surface and shaping it as desired.

Once the plastic film has completely adapted to the mold, it’s rapidly cooled to solidify and maintain the shape. The elastic membrane or frame is then lifted, and the thermoformed object is extracted from the mold. Excess material is trimmed or removed, and the final object can be further processed or refined, if necessary.

Vacuum thermoforming from reels is widely used for producing a range of plastic products and packaging, like blister packaging, containers, automotive industry component trays, and many more. It offers numerous benefits, including design flexibility, production efficiency, and the ability to create packaging with intricate and detailed shapes.

What Is Thermoforming Used For?

Thermoforming is used to produce packaging for hardware, plumbing, DIY, household items, automotive, and other plastic items. This is why it’s essential for manufacturers to review a wide range of plastic materials before starting the production cycle to always achieve the desired final product.

What Are the Benefits of Thermoforming?

There are many advantages to this plastic processing technique, including the ability to print extremely thin thicknesses.

This translates into significant economic convenience for businesses, adding value from a modern and innovative process like thermoforming.

If you believe in a technique capable of revolutionizing the production of plastic items and are looking for a company specializing in thermoformed product production, Niada NBC is the answer to your needs. Discover our product range and contact us for more information!