Thermoforming vs Injection Molding

In the competitive world of plastics, thermoforming vs injection molding contend for leadership, especially as new products come into play. Plastics Unlimited plays a major role in the parts industry. Investigating their strengths will help you build a knowledge base that allows the evaluation of thermoforming vs injection molding processes and their position within your specific application.

What is Injection Molding?

The injection molding process involves thermoplastic pellets which are heated to a liquid state, then injected into a custom, 3-D mold at high pressure. This forces the melted plastic into every void in the double-sided mold, ensuring a highly accurate finished product, Historically, injection molding is best suited to the creation of smaller components with variable thickness, intricate details or ridges, and sharp corners and angles, especially for smaller plastic pieces. Tooling and upfront design is usually quite pricey, not to mention extremely time-consuming. On the plus side, injection molding does lend itself to large production runs, and extremely precise detail work with a low percentage of scrap. The greater expense of injection molding may be mitigated to some extent by undercutting, coring, simplifying, or modifying fine detailing of the mold where possible.  Areas of application include Aerospace, Automotive, Food & Beverage, Medical and Point-of-Purchase displays, dividers hooks, and stops.

What is Thermoforming?

In this process, a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable temperature, applied to a specific shape on a mold, then trimmed to perfectly create the desired product. Versatility is one of thermoforming’s strengths, serving in the production of small, medium, and large parts. The global audience is equally diverse: Medical, Transportation, OEM, Agricultural, Dunnage, Outdoor/rec, and Material Handling applications.  Plastic Unlimited’s creative team works non-stop, developing fresh approaches and techniques. An impressive example of that commitment is the development of TEC (Tool-less Engineered Composites) a patented process that offers quality, speed, accuracy, and cost-efficient parts production. The larger the part, the greater your cost efficiency can be. Your development and testing teams will appreciate thermoforming molds concepts that are much quicker to design, fabricate, and modify. Significantly, branding and textural specifics are no problem. For example, our vast palette offers precise corporate vivid color matches for even the largest parts. Your specs may call for a combination of smooth, UV resistant coating and/or something with more textures. TEC is the right choice.

The TEC process was an immediate success, and over the years, our perpetual development and fine-tuning have fueled exponential growth. Our thermoforming partnership with world-class clients speaks for itself. Finally, with minimal VOC emissions, TEC has established Plastics Unlimited as a Green company that appreciates and respects the earth we share. This environmental commitment combined with a high standard of quality and service places Plastics Unlimited firmly in a leadership position.

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