Thermoforming is the process of heating huge plastic sheets into a very high temperature and cooling them in the required format. Vacuum forming is a sub process or a type of thermoforming where vacuum is applied in between the molds and the plastic to create various shapes. Thermoforming has several advantages and disadvantages compared to the other plastic molding methods like injection molding. In addition to vacuum forming, several other methods like drape forming, twin sheet forming and pressure forming can be incorporated along with thermoforming to produce different kind of products. Several types of plastic can be molded in the method.
Disadvantages of thermoforming
1. Thermoforming is quite costly. Compared to other methods like injection molding, this method can cost up to 50% more.
2. Large plastic sheets are used in the method. They have to be fed into the rollers again and again. This leads to lots of extrusion.
3. The plastic street is stretched in the under pressure in this method. Hence the products formed using thermoforming break at a certain temperature.
4. Thermoforming uses more plastic than other methods. Nearly 10 to 20% more plastic is used to make any product in this method. This adds to cost and creates extensive wastage too.
5. Vacuum forming process done along with thermoforming does not give the required shapes sometimes. The whole process has to be repeated which is expensive as well as time-consuming.
Advantages of thermoforming
There are several advantages in using this method in spite of all these disadvantages.
1. Thermoforming is the only method in which huge plastic sheets can be molded into huge objects. All other methods are used for making small objects only.
2. Though the process is costly, the tools required for the trade or quite cheap. Injection molding machinery is nearly 33% costlier than the Thermoforming machinery tools.
3. Several different products can be prepared in the thermoforming machines. Only certain products can be prepared in other machines. Nearly all types of plastic can be used for the plastic. Other methods use only specific plastic for production.
4. Skilled labor to operate the thermoforming machineries are available in abundant. But, laborers capable of operating machineries of injection molding or vacuum forming are quite less.
5. Superior quality products using more plastic are formed in the method. Hence, they are more durable than the objects created through other local methods.
There are many more advantages in the method. Though costly and a bit time-consuming thermoformed products are preferred by most of the packaging industries due to their high quality.
Teflon is the trade name for PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), a polymer consisting of carbon and fluorine. Teflon was developed back in 1938 by a DuPont researcher named Dr. Roy Plunkett. The development changed the plastic industry forever.
Plunkett and his DuPont team created one of the most slippery substances that exist. PTFE is not only beneficial for its nonstick property; it offers many other great qualities as well. The polymer is resistant to high temperatures, chemical reaction, corrosion, and stress cracking. These traits allow PTFE to be used for many different purposes.
One common household use for Teflon or PTFE is cooking. Many kitchen supply brands market their Teflon pots, pans, and utensils. These products are safe and make cooking a lot easier. The non stick PTFE component guarantees your food will slide right off the pot or pans surface. Cooking sprays and grease are no longer needed when you cook and bake with a Teflon coded product.
Another at home use for PTFE is with beauty products. Nail Polish is commonly infused with Teflon to create a strong, crack free product. Once applied, the Nail polish will stick to your nails longer with chipping. Many hair styling products, like curling irons and flat irons are also made with PTFE. The non stick coating helps the tools glide smoothly through hair, unaffected by the high heat temperatures.
PTFE is also significant in the automotive industry. One frequent use is with windshield wiper blades. Manufacturers coat their wiper blades with Teflon so the well known "squeaky blade situation" does not occur.
A fourth public use of PTFE is as protection for carpets and fabrics. Carpets and fabrics that include Teflon are less susceptible to stains. The PTFE acts as a repellant to liquids so spills can be easily wiped off.
Besides household and personal use, PTFE is widely used in a variety of business industries. The Steel and Chemical Processing Industries are two prime examples. These industries need strong and reliable hoses and tubing to transfer highly caustic and corrosive chemicals. They work with high temperatures to produce their products or services and they have to have a means for withstanding the heat. Teflon is great since it is carries the heat resistant and corrosion or stress free characteristics. PTFE tubing and hoses deteriorates less rapidly than metal piping. Manufacturers are catching on to this cost saving technique.
As you can see, PTFE properties are endless. They assist us with day to day tasks like cooking, cleaning, and driving. They contribute to our beauty prepping. And, PTFE's play a major role in the processes of industries like the Steel and the Chemical Processing Industry. Plunkett and DuPont might not have realized just how far their development would go. They created a product that remains essential to many functions in society today.