Thermoforming

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Thermoforming is a manufacturing process for thermoplastic sheet or film. The sheet or film is heated between infrared, natural gas, or other heaters to its forming temperature. It is then stretched over or into a temperature-controlled, single-surface mold. Cast or machined aluminum is the most common mold material, although epoxy, wood and structural foam tooling are sometime used for low volume production. The sheet is held against the mold surface unit until it is cooled.  The formed part is then trimmed from the sheet. There are several categories of thermoforming, including vacuum forming, pressure forming, twin-sheet forming, drape forming, free blowing, and simple sheet bending.