The History of Vacuum Forming
Vacuum formed plastic was first conceived as a display and marketing tool when it was developed from a line of vacuum casting and moulding technologies through the 1940’s and 50’s.
The first “machine for making articles, such as display covers from thin plastic sheet material” was patented in 1950 and was followed by a series of vacuum moulding machines until a “plastic sheet vacuum forming machine” was finally perfected and patented in 1964.
All these thermoplastic and vacuum forming machines played off of an older concept of using vacuums in any kind of casting or moulding process to remove excess air. Trapped air creates weak spots in mouldings which quickly break; applying a vacuum took every bit of air out and ensured a perfect result every time.
By the 1970’s the technology was being perfected into something very similar to current methods with a patent in 1974 for;
"An improved vacuum moulding apparatus for forming plastic signs, with a heater which can be pulled over a sheet of plastic held in a frame to soften it, a forming bed on which moulds are placed including an upwardly extending edge, a vacuum system for removing air from the space between the bed and a softened sheet and means for raising and lowering the frame and sheet with channels for guiding air flow out of the system so that the sheet is quickly pulled onto the mould."
Since then technical developments have focused on perfecting and enhancing the methods and equipment for higher outputs and guaranteed uniformity with an incredible range of plastics and thermoplastics now available, each bringing its own advantages.
At Display Developments we use the latest equipment in this line of vacuum forming technology to create a huge range of plastic display units and products. Highly reliable in the largest quantities thermoplastic and vacuum forming deliver quality and diversity at very low prices and fast turnaround times.
Whatever display or promotional products you have in mind that might fit with vacuum forming, we can help advise you on the most cost effective approach and ensure you get a perfect end result; click here to learn more about our vacuum forming services or contact us to talk to an experienced member of the team about your project.