While most of us cannot remember a time when plastics were not a part of our daily lives, it is only within the last sixty years that this versatile material has come into widespread use. In thermoforming we begin with plastic as extruded sheet material, and our first topic in this section of the Tech Academy is devoted to an overview of the extrusion process. Next we cover plastic types. This is one of the most dynamic areas within the thermoforming industry because new materials for specialized uses are constantly being developed, tested, and brought to market. Finally, the various tests associated with plastic sheet material are discussed. For the designer and engineer, knowing and understanding test data is vital to choosing the best material for the job.

There are three topics that are included in the Materials section:

Once you are familiar with plastic materials types and performance, move on to the Tooling section of the Thermoforming Tech Academy to learn about mold design and construction, and the effects that your tooling strategy will have on finished parts.

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