Vacuum forming is technique, used by Hampshire Plastics, to shape & form plastic products from sheets of plastic, often if the shape required is box or dish like.
Below, are the steps and processes involved in vacuum forming.
- First, a wooden mould is made. This is made in the shape to which the plastic will form around. Often where possible, the mould should have angled edges, in order to allow the tooling to pop out of the plastic when made.
- The mould is then placed into the vacuum former oven. A plastic sheet is then clamped above, but not on the mould.
- In the oven, the heater is positioned above the plastic. This will heat up, warming the plastic & allowing it to become flexible & mouldable.
- After a few minutes, the plastic should be at a temperature to allow moulding.
- The shelf on which the wooden mould is sat on, is moved upwards & into the flexible plastic using a handle.
- The vacuum is then switched on, removing all air from the oven. This allows the plastic to form to the shape of the mould.
- Once cooled, the sheet is then removed from the oven, the mould is removed & any excess trimmed.