Vacuum Forming

Lemac Manufacturing is a full service custom vacuum former. Vacuum forming is the process of heating a sheet of plastic to the point where it is flexible and easily formed. Once the plastic has been heated to this point it is removed from the heating area and stretched over either a male or a female mold. Vacuum pressure is then used to draw the plastic either over or into the mold as it is cooled back to its rigid state.

What are the advantages of Vacuum Forming?

  • In comparison with injection forming and pressure forming, vacuum forming has the least expensive tooling costs.
  • Tooling completion and implementation in vacuum forming is far faster than in injection and pressure forming.
  • Vacuum form tooling design modifications happen quickly and inexpensively.
  • Part runs can range from one to one thousand parts.
  • Vacuum forming allows for a huge range of part sizes,shapes, and colors.

Vacuum Forming Capabilities

Part Size: Vacuum forming allows for a wide range of part sizes. Lemac Manufacturing has 4 different ovens which enable us to make large and small parts in the most efficient way possible.

  • LMC produces parts as small as 1” x 1” x 1” all the way up to 10’ x 10’.
  • LMC’s forming and production areas have a wide range of capabilities. Draw depths can range from parts of an inch, all the way up to 3 feet.
  • LMC’s CNC machines use robotic technology to quickly finish products in the tight tolerances that our customers require.
  • Smaller parts can be formed in multiples, allowing for faster production times.

Vacuum Forming Customization

Lemac forms an array of products, from large sheets and enclosures to small, detailed parts.

  • We utilize a multitude of plastics with different finish and color options, enhancing the look of our completed products.
  • We frequently deal with the challenges raised by UV requirements of parts that will see the majority of their life cycle outdoors, utilizing the right materials to minimize color loss and fragility, with an eye towards extended use and end customer happiness.
  • We work on a regular basis with fire retardant materials for aircraft, safety, and marine industries.
  • There are wide ranges of colors to choose from, as well as different finishes in those colors, which can
  • dramatically change the look of your product.
  • Graphically enhanced materials are available that generate huge visual impact.

Materials Used

Vacuum forming utilizes various types of plastic depending on the function and life cycle of the final product. Some of the products Lemac frequently uses are:

  • ABS: ABS is a great, multi-use, economical, utility plastic. It comes in a wide range of thicknesses and is available in custom colors to suit project requirements. It is tough, and impact resistant. Often, ABS can be used that is made from recycled materials, further reducing economic and environmental impact.
  • PVC: PVC is flame, impact and stain resistant.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is highly customizable, has high impact and moisture resistance, and also has a high strength to weight ratio.
  • Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate has high impact resistance, high clarity, and is good for transparent parts.
  • PETG: PETG has high clarity and is good for transparent parts. It translates well into complex shapes, details, deep draws and curves. It has high impact strength, and fabrication ease.
  • HIPS: High-Impact Polystyrene is highly moldable, relatively inexpensive, impact resistant, heat resistant, and has great dimensional strength.
  • HDPE: High Density Polyethylene has impact resistance, is light weight, has low moisture absorption, and a high tensile strength.

With all of our projects we work closely with our customers to assess tolerances, cost considerations, and the utility of the product to ensure that the final product is exactly what our customer requires.