Plastic Pressure Forming
Plastic pressure forming is a more advanced process used to form plastic sheet into a finely detailed molded shape. It utilizes a single-sided mold to create the formed shape using vacuum & pressure on opposing sides of the sheet. In normal vacuum forming, the forming force is limited 14.7 psi of atmospheric pressure. However, since pressure forming utilizes both vacuum and positive air pressure, the process generates 3 to 4 times the forming pressure of vacuum alone. As a result, we can form fine details that create a mold side appearance similar to that of an injection molded part, including surface textures, at a fraction of the tooling price. This detail includes such features as molded-in textures, tight corners, ribbing, and embossed wording & logos.
Pressure Forming Advantages:
Pressure forming has several advantages over other processes such as injection molding. Some of these advantages are:
- Lower tooling costs
- Highly cost effective for low to medium volume runs
- Faster to market with quick prototypes
- Cost effective for larger parts
Universal Plastics can Pressure Form parts up to 48” x 96”
Pressure Forming Applications:
Plastic pressure forming is an excellent alternative to injection molding or structural foam molding in many applications, especially in runs of moderate volumes. Pressure formed parts are available in a large variety of colors and different textures utilizing common thermoplastic materials.
Universal Plastics has manufactured a wide variety of pressure formed parts such as:
- Outdoor plastic housings
- Medical enclosures
- Point of Purchase displays & retail items
- Recreational equipment
- Plus many, many more
Pressure Forming Capabilities at Universal Plastics:
We have 5 Pressure forming machines, with sizes to 48″ X 72″, including a 4 station rotary pressure former. We have 40 years experience designing pressure formed parts, which gives us the confidence to say we are experts in understanding the process advantages and limitations. Like all thermoforming, pressure forming is a process that is half science and half art. Many of our customers have pulled pressure forming tools from other suppliers and sent them to us because they knew we can make the part right the first time.
Please see our product gallery for many examples of how we have put this expertise to use.