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Thermoforming is an innovative moulding process for plastic materials different from the more common injection process. In this case a thermoplastic sheet is shaped into or onto a mould through three main techniques: vacuum, compression and twin-sheet. Thermoforming requires the use of specially designed and manufactured moulds. A variety of machines and materials can be used in this process (aluminum, resin, MDF).
Ennegi@ produces moulds for thermoforming starting from models and prototypes designed thanks to our engineers and designers’ experience and expertise. The mould making process can be carried out both by the most advanced techniques of CNC milling and by the traditional and well qualified techniques. Compared with injection moulding, thermoforming allows to mould very thin components and to cut down production time.
The word forming is a generic term used to indicate a process of formation or of form building with reference to components of various kinds. In the industrial field and, in particular, in foundries, the term is specifically used to define the moulding of plastic materials. It is opposed by definition to injection moulding methods in which the pre-heated fluid resin is directly injected inside the mould and adapts perfectly to its three-dimensional shape. Below instead, we see what happens in the case of forming and in particular in the case of so-called thermoforming.
Thermoforming is a hot moulding method involving the use of plates formed by exerting pressure or thanks to a vacuum technique: in the first case the sheet of plastic material is pushed inside the mould thanks to the pressure of the outside air which also contributes, because it is colder, to cooling the forged component; in the second case, the sheet is laid on the mould by suction and takes on all the mould details. Obviously, for this type of moulding specific equipment is needed, designed and made taking into account the end component to be produced.
Ennegi@ is a company which has for decades specialized in the design and manufacture of industrial moulds including thermoforming moulds. The materials used for their creation range from MDF to special resins and even aluminium, which is however not recommended in the case of prototypes. Compared to injection moulding, thermoforming is recommended whenever the production is required of a large number of pieces, when a certain degree of flexibility and precision is required and when the thickness of the moulded products is below one millimetre. It is therefore a particular and fairly widely-used process but which is suitably applied in specific cases.