What do you need to consider during the vacuum forming process?

What do you need to consider during the vacuum forming process?

We have been working in the thermoforming industry for a long time. Over this period, our focus has been on developing our skills in various areas. Today, we are one of the leading businesses for vacuum forming South West England has to offer. Our team has the skills and machinery to handle most jobs.

The vacuum forming process

Vacuum forming South WestYou use the process to apply heat to a sheet of plastic until it softens. Following this, you drape it over a mould. The machine applies a strong suction of vacuum, or air, from below. What this does is draw the soft plastic over your mould to take on its shape. When it cools you can remove it from the mould. In the end, you have a plastic component that has been perfectly formed.

Things may seem straightforward here. However, there are key considerations you need to keep in mind. The following are some of the most important ones.


To begin with, it is essential to heat your plastic properly to obtain the ideal vacuum form. One general rule would be to apply 20 seconds of heat. Do this for every 0.5mm of thickness of plastic. For instance, with a sheet that is 1.5mm thick, it will require 60 seconds of heat. Some plastics will have higher heat resistance and need more heating though.

No touching

Make sure you don’t touch the hot plastic with any object while the heating cycle is in effect too. This can cause damage to the material. Use the visible slight sag as your mark for the ideal temperature to carry out the forming. Let us know if you require the finest vacuum forming South West has.

Be careful with the heaters

Whatever you do, don’t try to raise the forming machine’s table when you have the heaters in the forward position. This could harm the heating element or lever mechanisms. The majority of machines actually have safety measures in place to stop you from raising the table.

Lowering the table

While we are still talking about tables, you need to be careful when lowering it too. When you do, see to it that you use a steady and smooth motion. Don’t just drop it. This shall stop any movement or damage of the mould inside the forming area. It will also have the effect of reducing stress on your machine.

Dynamic vacuum forming in the South West

At Plastics By Design, we manufacture at three separate locations all over the UK. This allows us to provide various other services in addition to the best vacuum forming South West can give. We work with all sorts of materials too, including PP, Polycarbonate, PVC, and others.

So, if you would like to find out what we can do for you, please contact us.