Category: Material Technology

Thermoforming Materials | Vacuum Forming Materials | Pressure Forming Materials

Thermoforming Materials:

Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product. There is a wide range of thermoforming materials that provide just the right properties for your plastic formed product, and each material has physical characteristics that make it suitable for specific applications.


Thermoforming Material & Description


Good general purpose material, very tough yet very hard and rigid, good impact and electrical. Available in gauges from .040 to .475 with several extruded textures. Comes opaque and can be matched in custom colors.


A blend or alloy of ABS and polycarbonate that thermoforms well, weathers well, good color retention, very hard, excellent impact.


Flame retardant, tough.

ABS Plastic, ABS-PC, ABS-PVC products
ABS Plastic, ABS-PC, ABS-PVC products


Outstanding weather resistance, excellent optics and electrical properties, poor impact, high gloss and deep luster. Available in standard gauges from .080 to over 1″. Available in clear, transparent and opaque colors.

Acrylic, cell cast

Excellent optics and hot strength, more expensive. Acrylic, continuous and extrusion cast.
Large volume use and best price, good optics.


Acrylic film

3 or 6 mil film for laminating, decorating, and weathering of extruded ABS.

DR Acrylic

Modified acrylic with higher impact properties.


A blend of acrylic and PVC that is a tough, chemical-resistant material that weathers well and is flame resistant. Available in custom colors.


HDPE (high-density polyethylene)

Crystalline, very tough materials, good weather resistance with UV inhibitors, resistant to many chemicals. Available in standard gauges from .040 to .500. Available in opaque custom colors. Tough and stiff. Good low temperature. Economical.

HMWPE (high molecular weight)

Excellent environmental stress crack properties, thermoforms well, good low temperature.

HIPS (high impact polystyrene)

Good general-purpose material, rigid. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .350, low cost.

pressure forming-housing-equipment's-electronics-parts-instruments
pressure forming-housing-equipment’s-electronics-parts-instruments


PVC (vinyl)

Good general-purpose material, good abrasion and chemical resistance. Available in clear but usually opaque custom colors from .030 to .125.

Expanded PVC

Stiff, light, flat, thermoformable. Available in stock colors and gauges, generally 3 and 6 mm but others also available.

pressure forming-sheet-gauges-covers-food-trays
pressure forming-sheet-gauges-covers-food-trays


Clear, higher impact than acrylic, easy to form. Available in gauges from .030 to .500.

Pressure_Formed_Parts-PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate glycol), PET, PETE, PETP, PET-P
Pressure_Formed_Parts-PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate glycol), PET, PETE, PETP, PET-P

Plastics | 2 Types Of Plastics | Ultimate Guide To Classification Of Plastics


Types Of Plastics | Classification Of Plastics

What are Plastics?

Plastics is a broad word that refers to a variety of plastic or semi-synthetic materials that are used in a wide range of applications. Plastics can be used almost everywhere. Plastic goods help us live a cleaner, simpler, stronger, and more satisfying life. Plastics can be found in the clothing we wear, the homes we live in, and the automobiles we drive. Plastics are used in the toys we play with, the screens we watch, the IT instruments we use, and the surgical devices we use.

Plastics are a material that is made up mainly of macromolecules, that can be made fluid by the action of heating and pressurizing, and that can be processed into end products with any useful shape you want to make.

01-plastic products-plastic household products-Chemical-in-Plastics-to-Cause-Breast-Cancer

Classification of Plastics

Plastics can be classified into:

1. Thermoplastics and Thermosets

2. Amorphous Thermoplastics and Crystalline Thermoplastics

3. Commodity Plastics and Engineering Plastics

4. Thermoplastics and thermosets are the two major forms of plastics.

Thermoplastics Vs Thermosets

01-thermo plastics vs thermosets-difference between thermo plastics and thermosets

Thermoplastics Elastomer

• TPE – thermoplastic elastomer
• Resemble rubber at room temperature
• Can be melt-processed like other thermoplastics
• Become elastic like rubber when cooled

  • TPEs have the elasticity of a cross-linked rubber, despite the fact that they are thermoplastic. Their softness or hardness value, as measured on the Shore durometer scale, is a key predictor. TPEs are available as very soft gel materials from 20 Shore OO to 90 Shore A, at which point they join the Shore D scale and can be manufactured to provide hardness values up to 85 Shore D, which designates a very hard substance.

Amorphous Thermoplastics Vs. Crystalline Thermoplastics

01-Amorphous thermoplastics-crystalline thermoplastics

 Thermo sets Classifications

01-thermo sets-thermo sets classifications- thermo setting plastics-examples of thermo sets

Commodity Plastics Vs Engineering Plastics

01-difference between commodity plastics and engineering plastics-examples of commodity plastics, examples of engineering plastics

Engineering plastics vary from commodity plastics in that they are manufactured to survive mechanical and environmental pressures that commodity plastics are not. Engineering plastics have a wide range of uses, but they are not commercially manufactured to the same extent as consumer plastics.

Plastic is a polymeric plastic with the ability to be formed or shaped, typically with the use of heat and pressure. Plasticity, which is often combined with other unique properties including low density, low electrical conductivity, transparency, and hardness, enables plastics to be made into a wide range of products. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage bottles, adjustable garden hoses made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), insulating food containers made of foamed polystyrene, and shatterproof windows made of poly methyl methotrexate are only a few examples.