Common Terms Of The Thermoforming Industry

Though it might not be common knowledge, it is true that there are several highly important services provided by thermoforming companies around the country for a huge range of industries. Topping the list of services met by these companies for clients is the creation of custom thermoformed packaging. In order to understand those in this particular industry better, here are some terms used by workers.

The term thermoforming is what describes the process where a sheet of plastic is being heat up to a certain point until it becomes malleable thus can be formed into several products or shaped packages. When plastic is warmed up it is either radiant heat or convection that is being used and then being molded. Upon cooling it down, excess plastic is then removed so you can have the finished product.

Plastic used in thermoforming is called thermoplastic. If you heard about a plastic type known as thermoset plastic, this one is quite different from the first one. Although it is true that thermoset plastic can be melted and molded too, to add heat to this particular type of plastic means that its chemistry is permanently changed thus disabling its potential to be melted down again and remolded to create a new product.

On the other hand, thermoplastic is highly recyclable and can be used and remolded numerous times. There are many different types of thermoplastic, each of which is classified using a special resin identification code. These are codes that you have seen before; they are simply a number surrounded by a triangle formed by arrows. You see them on all sorts of materials, including plastics, paper products, metal products and even glass products. These codes are used to help separate items when they arrive at recycling centers.

Of the resin identification codes, the most common would have to be 1 where it identifies thermoformed packages as well as products made out of polyethylene terephthalate. Plastic water bottles and soda bottles are amongst these products. Many of the recycling centers in the country welcome these products and in some states if you turn these bottles in to a specific type of recycling center you can have a deposit refund.

Several words and terms are still associated with thermoplastic including PVC which is “polyvinyl chloride.” Of the thermoplastic, this one is the widely used type. Some other common types of thermoplastics are acrylic, nylon and Styrofoam. These plastics are all polymers which mean that its molecules are made up of large chains of monomers. Monomers refer to molecules which are capable of being bound together chemically. While there are some polymers which are naturally occurring, some are synthetic and are made by chemists.

Lenna Stockwell enjoys writing about how stuff is made. For further information about custom thermoforming or to find out more about thermoform packaging, please visit the website now.