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Heavy Gauge

Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

Heavy Gauge Thermoforming, Heavy Gauge Plastic Thermoforming

Plastech is a world leading thermoforming manufacturer specializing in heavy gauge thermoforming contract manufacturing. Plastech provides custom plastic thermoforming services from prototype to production. 

Typical Applications for Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

Thermoforming is the broad term for a plastic production process that heats a two-dimensional rigid thermoplastic sheet and by way of vacuum and/or pressure, forms that sheet into a three-dimensional shape. Thin gauge and heavy gauge thermoforming are the two distinct categories of plastic thermoforming. Plastech has core competency is in cut-sheet heavy gauge thermoforming with sheet materials ranging from .060 to .500 inches thick.

Typical applications and industries for heavy gauge thermoforming include:

  • Outdoor Recreational Vehicles - fenders, roof-shades
  • Heavy trucks components - fender wells, front and rear bumpers and interior trim components
  • Fitness equipment - enclosures for treadmills, bikes and universal weights
  • Signage - large decorative signs for exterior use
  • Agricultural equipment - cowlings, fenders and dash components
  • Construction equipment - engine covers and cab interiors

Why Use Heavy Gauge Thermoforming?

Heavy gauge thermoforming technology is a good choice for meeting the specialized needs of plastic part(s) such as:
  • Large parts and/or permanent structural components
  • Strong parts capable of withstanding high levels of stress
  • Multiple part assemblies minimizing tooling cost over injection molding
  • Indoor and outdoor applications based upon specific material selection

Heavy Gauge Thermoforming Technology

The heavy gauge thermoforming technology involves feeding cut sheets of thermoplastic material into a machine that carries the sheets through one or more heating stations until the sheets reach the forming station for molding. Once the sheets have been molded, the completed part is emitted from the machine. At this point, secondary steps are necessary to complete the finished part through the use of routing, drilling, and secondary assembly via mechanical fasteners and adhesive or solvent bonding.

In contrast, light gauge thermoforming is used to produce blister pack plastic packaging, disposable medical device packaging, food containers, and consumer retail packaging. Plastech also does light gauge thermoforming.

Please Contact Plastech engineering team for a more in-depth design discussion of heavy gauge thermoforming.

Plastech Heavy Gauge Thermoforming Capabilities

A wide range of vacuum forming technical capabilities are available based on the equipment used, materials used, and desired product properties.

Plastech uses state-of-the-art equipment, including the following machines:

  • 60" x 72" single station vacuum, pressure and twin sheet former
  • 48" x 96" single station vacuum, pressure and twin sheet former
  • 48" x 72" four station rotary vacuum, pressure and twin sheet former
  • 84" x 108" four station rotary vacuum, pressure and twin sheet former
All machines are capable of pressure, vacuum and twin-sheet forming. The choice of the heavy gauge thermoforming technology in work done by Plastech is always guided by the engineering and product specifications of the customer and part. Pressure forming is utilized in more than half of the thermoforming jobs.

Materials Commonly Used in Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

  • ABS - There is a broad spectrum of resins used across a number of applications and can be formulated to meet UL flammability standards.
  • PC/ABS - This alloy delivers UL approval in addition to high impact performance.
  • HDPE - This is a cost effective material for industrial applications requiring high impact strength.
  • TPO - This high impact material delivers performance in cold and high heat applications.
  • HIPS - This low cost resin is used in many POP applications requiring excellent forming characteristics.
  • PVC/Acrylic - This resin is widely used in micro-processor based equipment housings and meets most stringent UL standards for flammability. It can be made in a wide range of colors and textures.

Terminology Note

Plastech and the plastics industry typically use the terms "heavy gauge thermoforming" and "heavy gauge vacuum forming" interchangeably. A common misspelling is "heavy gage thermoforming." This is all relative term - thin gauge is generally .25 and thinner. Heavy Gauge is .25 and thicker ;)

Contact Product Plastics for Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

Please Contact Us for assistance or to get a quote for heavy gauge thermoforming.