Plastic Pressure Forming

Plastic Pressure Forming
Plastic Pressure Forming

Plastic pressure forming creates parts with clean lines, tight corners, textured surfaces, and other fine details. Learn more about this type of plastic thermoforming from Gregstrom.

Plastic pressure forming is a type of plastic thermoforming that heats a plastic sheet until it becomes pliable and then presses it against a mold. To achieve this pressing action, air is removed or vacuumed-out from below the plastic sheet. At the same time, positive air pressure is applied above the plastic sheet.

Plastic Pressure Forming Advantages

Like vacuum forming, plastic pressure forming is cost-effective and can form very large thermformed parts. Both types of plastic thermoforming services have their advantages, but pressure forming supports complex shapes and tight tolerances, including thermoformed parts with integral vents.

Compared to injection molding, plastic pressure forming has lower tooling costs. This makes it a good choice for prototyping, as well as for low-to-medium volume runs. Pressure formed plastic parts are also a cost-effective alternative to fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP) and fabricated metal parts.       

Plastic Routing for Pressure Formed Parts

Once a thermoformed part is cooled, the part retains the shape of the mold. At Gregstrom, the pressure formed part is then trimmed using a five-axis CNC router or six-axis robotic router. Both plastic routing machines remove excess or unwanted materials with precision, and with clean edges that are free of burrs.

Plastic Pressure Forming Materials

Gregstrom creates custom thermoformed parts from these and other plastic materials.

  • acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
  • high-impact polystyrene (HIPS)
  • high-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or acrylic
  • polypropylene (PP)
  • polyethylene terephthalate (PETG)
  • polycarbonate

Typically, cut sheets are used for heavy-gauge thermoforming projects that require thicker wall sections.

Plastic Pressure Forming Applications

Plastic pressure forming is used to produce parts such as:

The medical laser assembly in Gregstrom’s Featured Projects is also an example of a pressure formed part.

Choose Gregstrom for Plastics Pressure Forming 

Do you have questions about plastic pressure forming? Would you like to learn more about pressure formed parts, including as replacements for metal components? To request a quote or for more information, contact us on-line or call (781) 935-6600. Choose Gregstrom for plastics pressure forming.