Thermoforming / vacuum forming FEP film, sometimes called Teflon® FEP and Norton® FEP, is possible due to its thermoplastic nature. Here at Welch Fluorocarbon, Inc. we have over 27 years experience thermoforming FEP film gauges from .002” up to .090”. Thermoforming FEP film can yield parts with wall thicknesses as thin as .001”.
Parts thermoformed from FEP film make possible long, thin wall thickness that are not possible in injection molding. Continue reading
Parts thermoformed from an extruded thermoplastic film will exhibit tapering in the wall thickness when thermoformed. This makes sense when you consider that you start with a flat film that has a uniform thickness, heat it, and then form it into the mold geometry using pressure, typically supplied by vacuum. The degree of tapering and gauge loss will be different with each mold geometry.
When you melt and “work” a plastic resin at or above its crystalline melt temperature, like in extrusion, the plastic resin likes to remember the physical torture it was put through as it is then cooled quickly. Depending on the type of plastic resin that memory can be large amounts of stress.
Here at Welch Fluorocarbon we pride ourselves on being experts in Thermoforming ultra-thin PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) film into three-dimensional components for the medical device industry. About a year ago Welch Fluorocarbon teamed up with Evonik® (makers of Vestakeep® PEEK film) to draft a press release explaining the benefits of our specialized Thermoforming technique using their Vestakeep® PEEK film.
Our melt-phase thermoforming process using high-performance films is capable of producing extremely thin part walls. Back at the start of 2010 Doug Smock of Design News and our very own Scott Behner teamed up to highlight our Thermoforming expertise. All of the information is still very much relevant today!