What’s Pressure Training?

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Pressure forming is a process for shaping plastics by forcing a hot sheet against a concave mold with compressed air. It creates more detail than vacuum forming, allows for sharp edges and undercuts, and has low tooling costs. It’s a viable alternative to injection molding for small quantities but not as durable for large production runs. It’s used for creating a wide variety of plastic products.

Pressure forming is a process used to form plastics into predetermined shapes. With pressure forming, a hot sheet of plastic is forced against a mold. Usually, this mold is a female mold, meaning it is concave. Compressed air is then added to the back of the heated plate to form the plastic with the mold.
The air pressures used in pressure molding increase the amount of detail that can be picked up from the plastic by the mold. Therefore, pressure forming is more effective than vacuum forming for projects that require more attention to detail. This is possible because pressure forming is capable of creating up to five times the pressure compared to vacuum forming. Products made with pressure forming also do not run the risk of excessive thinning, cold flow or other problems associated with vacuum forming.

The high amount of air pressure used with press forming also allows for sharp edges and undercuts when needed. It also has low tooling costs and short lead times, while still allowing for the creation of textured surfaces and products in a wide range of colors. The end result of pressure forming is an object with the same level of quality as one that was created by injection molding or structural foam molding.

Pressure molding is a viable alternative to injection molding when small quantities of products need to be created. It requires less labor and costs less money to set up molds for pressure forming than injection molding. Additionally, pressure forming can create the same detail and quality as injection molding. For large production runs, however, pressure molding isn’t always the best choice, because the molds aren’t as durable as those used with injection molding.

Pressure forming is used to create a wide variety of plastic products. Typical products made with pressure forming include shrouds, covers, equipment housings, bezels, bases, internal parts and components for use in business machines, computers and peripherals, telecommunications, biomedical applications, electronics and instruments.

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