Tooless Engineered Composites

Thermoforming Speed + Composites Durability = TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)®

Terry Kieffer, one of our founders, wanted to combine the speed of thermoforming with the strength and durability of composites. The final product is the award-winning, patented process that is exclusive to Plastics Unlimited. We call that technology our TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)® process.

Further Defining TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)®

TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)® starts with a thermoformed plastic skin or a side surface that is structurally reinforced by a composite material from the backside of the part.

The TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)® process allows the addition of a unique structure using various core materials. Cores may consist of foam, balsa wood, honeycomb, steel, aluminum, etc. Cast foam cores allow three-dimensional geometry that adds structure, which may incorporate mounting hardware, hinges, etc.

Benefits of TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)®

The benefits are a non-painted Class A finish that can have a solid color, metallics, chrome, or designs such as carbon mesh, camouflage, or any innovative design that one can imagine. All of these can have an industry-leading UV protection. 

There are also many different textures that can be used for scratch and mar resistance, which is not achievable with gelcoated parts.

The lower tooling cost makes it an excellent choice for low- to High-volume production parts requiring structure and high-quality appearance. It’s a fraction of RIM (reaction injection molding), Light RTM, DCPD (dicyclopentadiene), LFI (Long Fiber Injection), SMC (Sheet molding Compound) (Compression Molding), or RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) tooling cost.

TEC (Tooless Engineered Composite)® also has a fast turnaround to production because of the shorter cycle times and shorter lead times for tooling.

Our Class A finish will stand up to the everyday use and abuse that your parts need. The decrease in total resin used results in lower weight and high glass-to-resin ratios of finished goods compared to chopper gun processes.

The skin or A-side can incorporate UV inhibitors to increase fade resistance and is also very resistant to chips and cracks due to the plastic absorbing the impact compared to very brittle gelcoats or paints.

This process has minimal VOC emissions, which makes us industry leaders in respecting the environment and keeping our earth green.

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