Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated until it is a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape on a mold, and then trimmed to create a usable product.
Thermoforming is a process that requires a relatively low level of forming pressure. This means that the tooling can be constructed at a fraction of the cost of injection tooling. Tooling can be produced in a very short time frame compared to other plastic processes. You can also expect faster production turn around for large volume runs compared to rotationally molded or fiberglass reinforced plastic processes. Quick tooling turn around combined with faster production runs, results in quicker time to market.
Plastics Unlimited started as a thermoforming company almost a quarter of a century ago. We continued to learn and grow as a leading thermoformer every day. Our experienced staff can help find a solution that will work the best for each individual application. We take the time to make sure we completely understand your application so we can provide you with the best materials and processes to ensure the product that we provide for you will be the best possible. We have different sizes and types of thermoformers that allow us to do everything from a few small parts per month to thousands of parts per month as large as 8’ x 11’.
- Vacuum and Pressure Forming
- In-House Pattern and Mold Design
- Types of Molds – Renboard, Ceramic, Wood, and Aluminum
- Inexpensive Tooling
- Quick Turnaround on Tooling
- Quick and Inexpensive Prototyping
- Small to Large Production Runs
- Material Gauge – .060’‘ to .400’‘
- Forming of ABS, PVC, HIPS, PETG, Polycarbonate, Acrylic, and HDPE
- Custom Colors Available
- Custom or OEM Components
- Custom Assembly
- 5 Axis CNC Part Trimming
- 7 Axis Waterjet Part Trimming
Thermoforming Machine Sheet Sizes:
- Single station 5’ x 8’
- Double Ender 8’ x 10’
- Three Station Rotary 5’ x 8’
- Three Station Rotary 4’ x 6’
Composites are the result of combining technologies. The results can be spectacular! Introduced over 50 years ago, composites are fiber-reinforced plastics used in many different products, applications, and industries. Composites can apply to many different combinations of materials. Plastics Unlimited focuses on fibers, primarily fiberglass and carbon fiber that we combine with a resin. Some of the resins that we currently use are polyester, vinyl ester, urethane, and epoxies. By using the different resin types and glass layups, Plastics Unlimited can engineer exactly what you need.
The end products are strong, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and dimensionally stable. Advantages like design flexibility and lower tooling costs are utilized by growing number of industries such as recreational, industrial, agricultural, medical, and many more. Their tremendous strength-to-weight ratios and design flexibility make composites ideal as structural components.
High-strength, lightweight premium composite materials such as carbon fiber and epoxies have been used for aerospace, high performance sporting goods, performance cars, and many other high end applications for many years. Plastics Unlimited is helping to bring down the cost of premium composites like carbon fiber. By implementing new resin infusion and out-of-autoclave technology, more industrial, agricultural, and lower cost applications are discovering the value of Carbon composites.
Carbon fibers higher cost is easily offset by many of its benefits. Some of the benefits of carbon fiber are lower cost on many other related parts on a piece of equipment. For example, a 200 foot boom needed thousands of pounds to counter weights before it was produced in carbon fiber. The carbon fiber boom eliminated the need for additional cost of the weights.
For decreased product weight, increased strength and fuel economy, the move to carbon fiber parts will position you as a leader in production technology. Contact us to find out how we can help with all of your company’s composites needs.
Here’s the simple TEC® equation:
Thermoforming (Thermoformed Plastic Shell) + Composites (Fiberglass Reinforcement for more overall strength) = TEC®* (Tooless Engineered Composite)
When thermoformed products step up to composite technology, the result is a Class A smooth or textured finish. Choose between solid color or clear over metallic, chrome, wood pattern, camo, even carbon mesh pattern. Explore the benefits of our patented TEC® process now.
Benefits of TEC® products:
- Higher Quality Finish
- Class “ A” type finish is possible
- Chip/Crack Resistant
- Able to buff out minor damage
- Fade resistant –UV inhibitors added
- Wider Variety of Material Patterns and Colors
- Able to use various types of thermoformed sheet
- Lower Tooling Cost
- Thermoformed shell becomes tooling
- A fraction of the cost for SMC or RTM tooling
- Shorter Cycle Times-Able to Produce High Quantities
- No waiting for part to cure to free up mold tool
- Better Strength/Weight Ratio
- Close mold process with little to no VOC emissions
- Green Solutions
Polyurethane can take abuse and offers great physical properties. It’s non-abrasive and easily molded into an infinite array of shapes, colors and sizes.
Plastics Unlimited offers:
- Shore hardness values of 25A to 80D
- Fast turnaround
- In-house design and mold manufacturing
- Complete CAD services
- Spin Casting
- Great alternative for low quantity injection molding
Let us fuel your vision. For more, click on Polyurethane Products
Beneficial Characteristics of Polyurethane:
- Excellent Impact, Cut And Abrasion Resistance
- High Load Bearing Capacity
- Excellent Elongation And Tear Strength For Abusive Applications
- Excellent Resistance To Thermal Shock
- Oil, Solvent And Hydrolysis Resistance
- Remains Flexible In Extreme Cold
- Can Withstand Temperatures Of Up To 185 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Can Be Bonded To Metal Substrates
- A Variety Of Inserts Can Be Cast Into The Polyurethane To Provide Additional Strength And Mounting Options
- Polyurethane Can Be Formulated To Resist UV Degradation, Fungus, Mold And Mildew And Be FDA Approved
- Custom And OEM Components
- Protective Caps, Wear Pads And Bumpers
- Paint Masking Devices
- A Variety Of Returnable Rack Dunnage Products
- For more, click on Polyurethane Products
Give our design team your idea, goals, and design criteria and watch them grow from concept to production. Our engineers are proficient in a variety of design software, including Solidworks, MasterCAM, AutoCAD, and Campro. They utilize Solidworks for designing and reviewing CAD models and drawings in any IGES, Pro/E, Inventor, or STEP file. As your idea springs from the spark of imagination to practical application, we will be there to help you.
Tooling design is the foundation of perfection. Plastics Unlimited’s designers and tool makers produce thermoform, composite, and urethane molds in-house. Our designers will work with you during the early stages of the project to draw up exactly what you need. After that, prototype samples are made in house to your specs and corrections are made if needed. Once you are satisfaction with the prototypes, the production tools are made. Our molds have temperature control to make sure consistent parts are formed. Parts are trimmed robotically or on CNC routers. The end product we ship is the result of years of experience, skill, dedication to the craft and premium materials. We manufacture some of the finest thermoformed, composite, and urethane parts in the industry.
Our Design team is proficient in:
As a nationwide thermoforming leader, we know you expect every detail of your project to be perfect, right down to trimming each part accurately and meeting your specs. We are dedicated to the details. So, we write programs in-house with state of the art programming software that apply our 5 axis CNCs, 6 axis robot, and 7 axis water-jet trimming machines.
- KMT Jet-Tool 7-Axis Waterjet Trimming Robot
- Dual 10’ X 5’ Tables or a Single 10’ X 10’ Table with Coordinated Motion
- Genesis Versa-Trim 6-Axis Trimming Robot
- 6-Up Tool Changer
- Dual 8’ X 4’ Tables
- (2) Thermwood Model 67 5-Axis CNC Routers
- 36” Z Height
- 10’ X 5’ Table Size
- Thermwood Model 90 with 10’ x 12’ table including Pattern making capabilities
Sales representatives as well as technical advisors are available to answer any questions you may have.Contact Us
Outdoor / Rec
1993 is the year Plastics Unlimited was born in a shed on Terry and Nancy Kieffer’s farm in Preston, Iowa. With a little faith and whole lot of dedication, they grew Plastics Unlimited from that little shed with single station…
Recognition for past accomplishments is gratifying. Here’s why it actually means something. We didn’t strive for the awards. They came because we are uncompromising in the goals we set for client satisfaction. The awards are the industry telling us we…
History has shown that many were skeptical about the need for green solutions. Plastics Unlimited has long held the belief that we’re responsible for leading the way in global responsibility. So, we provide our premium thermoformed, urethane, and composite parts…
Some companies are defined by their standards of excellence. Plastics Unlimited puts it in writing. (Link to quality policy) As a continuing major supplier to brands with challenging demands, all of our customers benefit from our commitment. As an approved…
303 1st Street NW
Preston, IA 52069