Vacuum forming thermoplastics. Which material should you use?

vacuum forming machine

Looking to find out what type of product is best for vacuum forming? Here at Eagle Plastics, we’re proud to boast a highly in-depth knowledge and understanding of thermoplastics; and can provide you with a huge insight into individual thermoplastics and what they can offer you. When it comes to thermoplastics, the ideal applications and uses for them will all depend on the properties that the thermoplastic has. Although thermoplastics do share some common properties, individually, they will have specific qualities that make them suitable for particular purposes and manufacturing processes – such as vacuum forming.

What type of product is best for vacuum forming?

So, what type of product is best for vacuum forming? Vacuum forming is a type of method that is used to process and manufacture products that are made from plastics. It is a simplified version of thermoforming but in order to be successful, the products that will be undergoing the process need to be easy to form. Ideally, they should have a low forming temperature, good thermal strength, high impact strength and minimal shrinkage on cooling. As one of the country’s leading suppliers of thermoplastic sheeting, we’ve got plenty of options to choose from that meet these requirements, including HIPS and ABS plastic.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

ABS – which stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – is an amorphous thermoplastic that is very rigid. Its hard surface has excellent weather resistance and containing rubber means that ABS has a great impact resistance too. ABS is very popular when it comes to vacuum forming as its shrinkage rate ranges between 0.3-0.8%. As it is available in a variety of different colours, ABS is often used for vehicle parts, electrical enclosures and luggage.

High Impact Polystyrene

HIPS – which stands for High Impact Polystyrene – is another incredibly amorphous thermoplastic. With excellent impact resistance and a 0.3-0.5% shrinkage rate, HIPS thermoforms with great ease and can be used to create a wide range of products. However, the material does not have very good UV resistance which means it is not particularly suitable for outdoor applications. With this in mind, HIPS is usually used to make low-cost items such as toys, displays and packaging materials.

Buying thermoplastics

Here at Eagle Plastics, we’ve got the skills, experience and products to be able to find you a material that meets all of your requirements. With so many different thermoplastics to choose from, no matter what type of manufacturing process you opt for, you’ll be able to get exactly what you need from us. We’ve got decades of experience under our belts too, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be investing in high quality materials from a trusted and highly established supplier.

Contact Eagle Plastics today

For more information on what types of products are best for vacuum forming, head to our website today. Alternatively, you can call 0116 276 6363 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.