Vacuum Forming

Vacuum thermoforming (vacuum forming, VF) involves the heating up of a thermoplastic sheet and using vacuum to force the sheet into the shape of a mould.

Available Materials:

- Thicknesses: 1.5mm ≤ t ≤ 6.4mm
- Types: ABS, Acrylic, PVC/Acrylic, PST, PETG, Poly Carbonate and HDPE.

We also have a range of materials which meet UL94, FAR 25.853 and DIN 5510-2 flammability regulations.

Vacuum Forming Capability & Capacity:

Aero Services (AS) currently has the ability to form components which are very small (60x60mm) all the way up to very large components (3.1x1.7m). The average cycle time excluding trimming can range from 3min to 10min depending on size, material thickness and type. At this moment in time AS can make well over 500 finished (formed and trimmed to drawing) per day of a mix of sizes. The process is easily scalable to handle larger volumes if required.

  • Advantages of vacuum forming over using GRP:
    • Decreased cycle time
    • Less rejects
    • Less material handling is needed
    • No curing is required
    • More options for textures (fine grain, leather grain etc.)
    • Sheets can be ordered in the required finishes and colours (no post processing)
    • The cost of raw materials is far lower when you consider products which have requirements that need to be flame retardant and meet heat release and smoke and toxicity requirements.
    • Both the component and processing waste are fully recyclable.
    • Weight saving (30% on average depending on design)
    • This process is used extensively in Europe and the USA two manufacture interior components for both the rail and aircraft industry.
    • Less labour intensive (less susceptible to strikes etc.)
    • Cheaper
  • Typical examples of vacuum formed components:
    • Seats
    • Window surrounds
    • Assorted panelling (cove panels, ceiling panels, sidewalls, etc.)
    • Tray Tables
    • Ducting
    • Seat backs
    • Bathroom Components: Sinks, wall panels, cabinets, covers, shells
    • Locomotive Driver Toilet Cubicles
    • Assorted trim pieces
    • Light Lenses (Poly Carbonate, PETG or Acrylic)
    • Signage
    • Point of Sale Solutions
    • Material Handling