Quarterly Mags: 2006 1st

Thermoforming 2006

16th Annual Thermoforming Conference

September 17th – 20th, 2006

NASHVILLE CONVENTION
CENTER
RENAISSANCE HOTEL
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

For More Information:

Conference Chairman: Dr. Martin Stephenson, Placon Corporation
608.275.7215 Fax 608.278.4423
mstep@placon.com

Technical Chairman: Mike Lowery, Premier Plastics
414.423.5940 Fax 414.423.5930
mikel@lowerytech.com

Parts Competition Chairman: James Alongi, Maac Machinery
630.665.1700 Fax 630.665.7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com

Conference Coordinator: Gwen Mathis
706.235.9298 Fax 706.295.4276
gmathis224@aol.com

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITES AT:
http://www.4spe.org/communities/divisions/d25.php
www.thermoformingdivision.com

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-1 Thermoforming

“CREATIVITY & INNOVATION
IN THERMOFORMING”

Nashville, Tennessee

September 17th – 20th, 2006

I
I
would like to take this opportunity to invite you

The convention center in Nashville is a very dynamic
the 16th Annual SPE Thermoforming Conference

location with friendly people to tailor to your needs.
to be held in “Music City” – Nashville, Tennessee.

We think 2006 will be our largest show ever, so reserve
Many of you have requested a Sunday evening start

your space now to exhibit. If your company has never
as opposed to the usual Saturday night. In response to

sponsored before, we invite you to look at the value
this request, the 2006 Conference will kick off on

one gets by sponsoring. We do have a lottery to draw
Sunday evening, September 17th and go through

the sponsors due to the response we get each year. It
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 with a theme of

is a great value! Even if you are not drawn as a sponsor,
“Creativity and Innovation in Thermoforming.” This

you will move down to the top of the list to select
will be our third time in the “Music City” and we are

your exhibit space. Our SPE Thermoforming Board
glad to be back in Nashville! The 1998 and 2002

is grateful for the continuous support our sponsors
conferences were well attended and highly rated and

and exhibitors give us each year. We could not do it
we know that the 2006 Conference will be no

without you!
exception!

Nashville is a very economical venue so that
Planning for the conference has already begun. Mike

companies can bring CEOs, Sales/Marketing
Lowery (Premier Plastics), Technical Chair for 2006,

Executives, along with their Engineering and
and I are very excited about the direction of our

Operations people. This year’s Conference aims to
program. We have already lined up speakers from

have a particular orientation toward the men and
North America and Europe to conduct both seminars

women in the trenches (Engineering and Operations)
and joint sessions. Many people in our industry are

of the Thermoforming Industry.
very creative and innovative and we are working to
bring them to speak in Nashville. Topics we will cover

It is never too soon to reserve your space for 2006.
will be competing in today’s hotly competitive global

Gwen Mathis, Conference Coordinator, is happy to
market, dealing with issues of cost vs. value, and the

help you. Please call her at 706.235.9298, (fax)
technical aspects of innovations in the Thermoforming

706.295.4275 or e-mail: gmathis224@aol.com.
Industry, i.e. material processing, tooling technology,
and machinery. This is an excellent forum to launch

The bands are warming up and awaiting your arrival
your new products and conduct business with the

to the Music City. I am ready and hope to see you in
leaders of the thermoforming industry.

Nashville for a successful Conference in 2006! 

Martin Stephenson

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-2 Thermoforming

FIRST CALL FOR SPONSORS/EXHIBITORS

16th Annual Thermoforming Conference & Exhibition

September 17th – 20th, 2006

NASHVILLE CONVENTION CENTER

Nashville, Tennessee

Gwen Mathis, Conference Coordinator

“THERMOFORMING 2006:
CREATIVITY & INNOVATION IN THERMOFORMING”

T
T
he 16th Annual Thermoforming Conference and Exhibition – “Thermoforming 2006: Creativity
& Innovation in Thermoforming” – plans are beginning to take shape. This show will be a forum
for the newest techniques, latest equipment, materials, auxiliary equipment and current industry news.
As an Exhibitor, this event will enable you to showcase your products and services at the only show
geared just to THERMOFORMERS! If your company sells to THERMOFORMERS, then this is
the place you must be. This industry event is a prime opportunity for you to reach the decision makers
in the field and create a brighter future for your business as well.

Full exhibits will be offered. Our machinery section continues to grow each year. If you are not
participating in our machinery section, you are encouraged to do so. Each 10′ x 10′ booth is fully
piped, draped, carpeted and a sign will be provided. As an extra value, one comp full registration is
included with every booth sold. This gives your attendees access to all Technical Sessions, Workshops,
Special Events, Plant Tours and all meals. A great bargain at $2,250.00.

Where else can you make personal contact with more than 1,000 individuals who are directly involved
with our industry. Your SPONSORSHIP or participation as an EXHIBITOR has demonstrated
its potential to help your sales and it is contributing to the strength and success of our industry
as a whole.

We urge you to join us at THERMOFORMING 2006 in Nashville! Reserve your space early to
avoid disappointment. Booth assignments are made on a first come, first serve basis.

Should you have questions, please call (706) 235-9298, fax (706) 295-4276
or e-mail to gmathis224@aol.com.

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-3 Thermoforming

EXHIBIT GUIDELINES
EXHIBITOR PACKAGE: $2,250

10′ x 10′ Booth, Piped, Drape, Sign and Carpet provided.
Additional booth spaces: 2nd $2,000, 3 or more $1,750 each.

All Exhibit packages include the cost of (1) Full Conference registration which
includes all meals to a company representative. One is given for each booth
purchased. All additional attendees must be registered and pay full conference
registration to staff your exhibit.

Exhibitors must arrange for any additional services or needs in advance with
the designated decorating service. Exhibitor packet will be sent no later than
June 1st, 2006.

Parts Competition and Plastics Van to be located in Exhibit area.

Ribbon Cutting Opening Exhibits on Sunday, September 17th, 2006 followed
by Welcome Reception on Exhibit floor.

DEADLINE FOR CANCELLING EXHIBIT SPACE WITH REFUND IS JUNE 1st,
2006. No refunds available after June 1st, 2006.

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-4 Thermoforming

2006 THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE

Creativity & Innovation in Thermoforming

September 17th – 20th, 2006
Nashville, Tennessee

EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION FORM
(Please complete and return with your check today.)

_______
YES, we want to be a 2006 Thermoforming Exhibitor. Enclosed is our check for $2,250.
Additional 10′ x 10′ booths as needed will be 2nd $2,000, 3 or more $1,750 each. We
will require _________ Booths. We understand that space assignments will be assigned
after Sponsors have been selected. Cancellations will be accepted up to June 1st, 2006.

COMPANY NAME: _______________________________________________________________

CONTACT: ________________________________ SIGNATURE: _________________________

ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________

CITY/STATE/ZIP: ________________________________________________________________

PHONE: ________ FAX: _______________________E-MAIL:_____________________________

To properly plan exhibit or badge needs, please list everyone who will be attending. For each
exhibit space purchased, a complimentary registration is included ($295 value). All other persons
must be registered for the full conference which includes all meals.

Name: ________________________________ Name: _________________________________

Name: ________________________________ Name: _________________________________

MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: 2006 SPE THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE

MAIL TO:
GWEN MATHIS, CONFERENCE COORDINATOR
SPE THERMOFORMING DIVISION

P. O. BOX 471, 124 AVENUE D, SE
LINDALE, GEORGIA 30147-0471
FAX (706) 295-4276
16TH CONFERENCE SECTION
S-5 Thermoforming

2006 Thermoforming Conference
EXHIBITORS
(Signed Up at Press Time)
“Creativity & Innovation in Thermoforming”

* DENOTES 2006 SPONSORS
If your company name is not listed here, please get your form in to reserve your space. Contact Gwen Mathis at 706.235.9298.

COMPANY

* Alcoa Kama Corporation
* Allen Extruders
* American Tool & Engineering,
Inc.
* Aristech Acrylics LLC
* Brown Machine LLC
* Castek Aluminum
Ensinger/Penn Fibre
* ExTech Plastics
* Geiss Thermoforming USA LLC
* Kiefel Technologies, Inc.
Klockner Pentaplast
* Land Instruments International
* Maac Machinery Company
* New Hampshire Plastics
* Onsrud Cutter
Plastimach Corporation
* Portage Casting & Mold, Inc.
* Premier Material Concepts
* Primex Plastics Corporation
COMPANY

* PTi (Processing Technologies,
Inc.)
Producto Company

* Raytek Corporation
* Robotic Production Technology
* Sencorp, Inc.
* Senoplast USA
Society of Plastics Engineers
* Spartech Plastics
Stopol, Inc.
Thermoformer Parts Suppliers
* Thermwood Corporation
* Tooling Technology LLC
* Total Industries International
Zed Industries
16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-6 Thermoforming

2006 THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE

Creativity & Innovation in Thermoforming
Tentative Technical Program Announced
Nashville Convention Center

MONDAY,
SEPTEMBER 18th, 2006
Mini-Seminar in Advanced Topics in
Thermoforming – 3 Hours (Limited to 25
attendees) – Dr. James Throne, Sherwood
Technologies, Inc.

This 3-hour advanced seminar is designed for the
technologist who needs to know how the major engineering
aspects such as heat transfer, rheology, interfacial mechanics,
and fracture mechanics are applied to thermoforming.

Attendees should consider this as a graduate-level seminar
that assumes a thorough undergraduate working knowledge of
engineering concepts and mathematics through calculus. If you
do not have this background, do not attend.

Please note that attendance is restricted to 25. A waiting list
will be available for late registrants.

There will be no handout. Attendees may download the
instructor’s PPT slides via their personal memory sticks at the
end of the seminar.

Not all topics given in the following list will be covered,
additional topics may be added, and those that will be covered
will be at the discretion of the instructor.

• The Technology of Sheet Heating
–
Understanding the Fundamentals Behind the Energy
Dome
–
Radiant Transparency
–
Heating Sagging Sheet
• Mechanics of Sheet Stretching
–
Elastic Modulus and the Forming Window
–
Catenary and Elliptical Catenoid Models for Sag
–
K-BKZ Model – What and Why?
–
Melt Strain Hardening and the Stress Growth Function
–
Finite Element Analysis and Other Methods of
Determining Wall Thickness
• Mechanics of Plug Assist
–
Plane Strain vs. Biaxial Strain
–
Plug-Sheet Interfacial Concerns
• Trimming as Fracture Mechanics
“Development in Infrared Lamp Technology
for Thermoforming” – Jerome Martinache,
ITM-Application Group Leader, Phillips
Special Lighting

“Match Metal Trim for Thin Gauge” – Bill
Hilts, Ontario Die Corporation

“Technology Does Not Have to be
Expensive” – Scott Crandall, Director of

Quality & Advanced Technology, McClarin
Plastics, Inc.
“Mold Temperature Control” – TBD

“Legislative Update” – TBD
“Business/Casualty Insurance Issues in the
Thermoforming Industry” – TBD

“Product/Company Branding” – TBD
“Innovation: The Risks and Rewards” – TBD
“Global View of the Resin Market” – TBD

TUESDAY,
SEPTEMBER 19th, 2006
“Improving the Thermoformability of
Polypropylene by Modification of the Crystal
Phase” – Dr. Phil Jacoby, Vice President of
Technology, Mayzo Corporation

“Trends in Thermoform-Tooling in Europe” –
Hubert Kittelmann, Marbach

“Heaters: How, When, Cost” – Frank Wilson,
WECO and Ceramicx – Ireland

“Measuring Plug to Sheet Interactions
During the Thermoforming Process” – Noel
Tessier, CMT Materials; Tom Gallagher,
Sunoco Chemicals

“Bio-Materials Outlook” – TBD

“Bringing PHB to the Plastics Industry: A
New Family of High Performing
Environmentally Friendly Plastics” – Daniel
Gilliland, Metabolix

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION
S-7 Thermoforming

Workshops

2006 Thermoforming Conference
Nashville, Tennessee

** Attendees can only select one of the four workshops being offered.
You must register for the conference to attend workshops. **

SUNDAY,
SEPTEMBER 17th, 2006
RENAISSANCE HOTEL – MUSIC CITY BALLROOM

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – McConnell –
Buckel Cut Sheet Workshop
Bill McConnell

Art Buckel
I. INTRODUCTION

• Advantages and Disadvantages of the
Thermoforming Process
II. HEATING REQUIREMENTS
A. The Thermoforming Environment
• Plant & Warehouse
• Machine Locations
• Environment Around Machines
B. Types of Heat – Advantages &
Disadvantages
• Convection
• Conduction
• Radiation
• How to Obtain Uniform and/or Profiled
Sheet Temperature
• “K” Factors and Relative Rates of Heat
Transfer
• Regrind & Heat
III. VACUUM & COMPRESSED AIR SYSTEMS
C. Vacuum Requirements
• Why Fast Vacuum Needed
• Vacuum Pressure Measurements
• Surge Tanks
D. Compressed Air Requirements
E. Hydraulic Platens
IV.
FORMING TECHNIQUES – BASIC
THERMOFORMING METHODS
A. Vacuum Forming
B. Pressure Forming
C. Mechanical Forming
D. Prestretch Forming – For Better Material
Distribution
• Vacuum Snapback
• Plug Assist
• Chamber Forming
E. Twin Sheet Forming
F. WRAP UP
Limited to 150 – you must register to attend.
RENAISSANCE HOTEL – FISK ROOM

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Throne Roll Fed
Workshop
This basic workshop introduces the various aspects
of thin-gauge thermoforming, from materials to machinery,
from processing aspects through trimming,
to part and old design. A workshop notebook will
be provided.

The following will be discussed:

1. General aspects of thin-gauge thermoforming
2. Machine elements
3. Materials
Polymers
Additives
4. New materials to be considered
Biopolymers
Nanocomposites
5. The importance of sheet extrusion parameters
6. Heating the sheet
7. Forming the sheet
8. Trimming
9. Molds and mold design
Mold materials
Plug materials
10. Part design concepts
Wall thickness determination
Corners
Coining
Plug design
16TH CONFERENCE SECTION
S-8 Thermoforming

Workshops

2006 Thermoforming Conference
Nashville, Tennessee

** Attendees can only select one of the four workshops being offered.
You must register for the conference to attend workshops. **

11. Regrind considerations
12. Foam forming
13. Production monitoring and control
Temperance
Birefringence
14. Lingering concerns
James L. Throne: Jim Throne is Presi

dent, Sherwood Technologies, Inc.,

Dunedin, FL., a consultancy focusing

on advanced plastics processing tech

nologies, including thermoforming,

foam processing and rotational molding.
He is Fellow of the SPE and Fellow of IoM3 (England).
He was SPE Thermoformer of the Year 2000.
He was honored by the SPE European
Thermoforming Division 2004 for his technical contributions
to the worldwide thermoforming industry.
He has published 10 books in polymer
processing, including four in thermoforming. He
holds nine U.S. patents, including a fundamental
one in thermoforming CPET. He has written more
than a dozen technical book chapters and has published
and presented nearly 200 technical papers.
He is current Technical Editor of SPE
Thermoforming Quarterly. He is Fellow of the Society
of Plastics Engineers and Fellow of Institute of
Materials, Mining and Manufacturing (IoM3).

Limited to 150 – you must register to attend.

RENAISSANCE HOTEL – BELMONT ONE ROOM

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Process
Controls Workshop – “Improve
Production Capacity of Your
Equipment: Use Updated Controls”
Thermoformer life can be extended and better-quality
product can be produced with updated control
systems. Learn how temperature, gauge, speed, pressure
and downstream equipment can all run based
on a product code, with adjustments made automatically
based on set points and closed-loop control

algorithms (including shot cycle, platen movement,
gauge/profile and temperatures). Your firm can reduce
scrap, boost throughput, improve quality and
consistency with improved controls and by identifying
changes with trend charts/graphs and alarming.
Data collection is also useful for on-line troubleshooting/
diagnostics. This seminar will show you
how.

Michelle Curenton: Michelle currently

serves as a Sales/Product Engineer with

FACTS, Inc., a supplier of closed-loop

controls systems for extruders, mixers,

calenders and thermoformers. She has

spent ten years with the company,
which exclusively serves the plastics and rubber
industries. During this time she has worked as a
project and process engineer, managed many startup
projects and custom installations, and routinely
helps clients with trouble-shooting or diagnostic issues.
She is often called upon to support the company
with technical presentations and has presented
several papers at industry conferences and SPE meetings.
Michelle holds an electrical engineering degree
from The University of Akron. Prior to joining
FACTS, she worked for a leading company in the
steel industry in several engineering roles. In addition
to electrical/project engineering skills, she has
a strong IT background and combines process data
with a clear understanding of software/hardware capabilities,
including ERP and SPC applications. She
specializes in identifying clients’ processing issues
and providing realistic solutions for improved technology
and manufacturing practices. Michelle is
married and the mother of a son. She resides in NE
Ohio and routinely travels the country to work with
clients on a variety of integrated line-control projects
for plastics or rubber manufacturing.

Limited to 50 – you must register to attend.

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-9 Thermoforming

Workshops

2006 Thermoforming Conference
Nashville, Tennessee

** Attendees can only select one of the four workshops being offered.
You must register for the conference to attend workshops. **

RENAISSANCE HOTEL – BELMONT ONE ROOM

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – How to Do
Business in India Workshop
The global economy has mandated international
partnerships, India and China emerging as two
strong partners. It is in the best interest of our manufacturing
industry to at least be aware of what is
happening in India and to understand several ways
in which we can do business together. The seminar
will cover issued related to doing business with/in
India including but not limited to Reasons for Exploring
Business Opportunities in India, Market
Opportunities for U.S. Firms in India, State of Indian
Manufacturing, State of Indian Services Sector,
Business Destination – Economic and Political,
India’s Socio-Cultural Heritage, Challenges to Doing
Business in India, U.S. Perception of India’s
Future, Future Directions and India’s Economic Policies,
Etc. A few case studies will be discussed to
learn from experiences.

Dr. Promod Vohra: Dr. Vohra is the

dean of the College of Engineering and

Engineering Technology (CEET). Dr.

Vohra is a graduate faculty and a full

professor in the Department of Tech

nology. Prior to becoming the dean he
was the associate dean for six years where he boosted
enrollment in the college by 45 percent over the last
seven years. Before that he was the electrical engineering
technology (EET) coordinator in the Department
of Technology. Dr. Vohra, in addition to having
a doctorate in Instructional Technology (with
cognate in Industrial Engineering), has a Masters as
well as a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering.
The BS degree was earned from Delhi College
of Engineering, India and the latter two degrees were
earned at NIU in 1988 and 1993, respectively. Prior
to coming to the field of academia, he worked in
industry (Philips) for five years as a technical support
engineer. He joined NIU in 1988 as a lecturer,
became an assistant professor in 1993, an associate
professor in 1995 and the associate dean in 1997.

His interest areas are digital systems, instruction design,
industrial training, new technologies and applications
of technologies. As the coordinator of the
Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program
(1988-1995), he increased the program enrollment
more than 800 percent, published several refereed articles
and brought in about a million dollars worth of
equipment grants to develop and expand EET laboratories.
He recently brought in software and other
grants worth approximately 22 million dollars. Dr.
Vohra has been very active in university service and
in regional and national professional committees/organizations.
He was the recipient of the 1988 Outstanding
Young Alumnus Award in 1995, he was
given the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Award by Northern Illinois University and in 1996
he received the Outstanding Professor Award in the
region (seven professional registrations such as a professional
engineering (PE) and a senior certified industrial
technologist (CSIT).

Limited to 35 – you must register to attend.

Nashville Scenes
Nashville ScenesNashville Scenes

GRAND OLE OPRY

COUNTRY MUSIC
HALL OF FAME
& MUSEUM

JACK DANIEL
DISTILLERY

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-10 Thermoforming

Workshops

2006 Thermoforming Conference
Nashville, Tennessee

** Attendees can choose one only. **

WEDNESDAY,SEPTEMBER 20th, 2006
RENAISSANCE HOTEL – RYMAN ROOM

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Extrusion Workshop
Presented by the SPE Extrusion Division
Limited to 100 – you must register to attend.

.
Extrusion Basics – Tim Womer, Xaloy
.
Co-Extrusion – Gary Oliver, Cloeren
.
Compounding Extrusion – Paul Anderson, Coperion; Charlie Martin,
Leistritz
.
Reactive Extrusion – Paul Anderson, Coperion; Charlie Martin, Leistritz
.
Extrusion Troubleshooting – Mark Spalding, Dow Chemical
RENAISSANCE HOTEL – MUSIC CITY BALLROOM

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Geiss Workshop
Limited to 100 – you must register to attend.

.
“The Future of the Thermoforming Industry” – Manfred Geiss & Albert
Woltron, Geiss USA
16TH CONFERENCE SECTION
S-11 Thermoforming

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-12 Thermoforming

16th Annual Parts
Competition and Showcase

BY JAMES ALONGI, PARTS COMPETITION CHAIRMAN

W
W
e invite you to participate in this year’s Thermoforming Parts Competition and Showcase.
This important event is a part of our 2006 SPE Thermoforming Conference in Nashville,
Tennessee, September 17th – 20th, 2006. In order to make this year’s Parts Competition and
Showcase the best ever, we need your support. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to support
your industry, get in front of editors from major publications, and show off your thermoforming skills.

SHOWCASE OF PARTS

The Showcase of Parts was developed as a non-competitive forum to display products from our industry.
This year’s showcase will feature past award winning parts, as well as parts not involved in the
competition. We also encourage any thermoformer, machinery manufacturer, material supplier, and
attendee to share parts with us. This will be a show and tell area for all to promote their parts. Items of
interest in the industry like thermoforming versus other processes, new materials, or environmental
issues are encouraged. Do you have a success story to share with us?

Cut Sheet Parts Competition

The following Categories will be Judged:
Automotive
Consumer Products
Twin Sheet Product
Multi-Part Assembly
Electronic Products
Industrial Application
Point of Purchase

AdditionalAdditionalAdditionalAdditionalAdditionalCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedbasedbasedbasedbasedbased ononononon partspartspartspartspartssubmitted.submitted.submitted.submitted.submitted.
Roll-Fed Parts Competition

The following Categories will be Judged:
Consumer Packaging
Consumer Housewares
Critical Barrier
Consumer Electronics
Food Container
Industrial Packaging

AdditionalAdditionalAdditionalAdditionalAdditionalCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesCategoriesmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedmay be addedbased on partsbased on partsbased on partsbased on partsbased on partssubmitted.submitted.submitted.submitted.submitted.
Best International Part

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-13 Thermoforming

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

This award is voted on by the attendees and exhibitors of the SPE Thermoforming Conference. Ballots are provided
at the Conference registration and the ballot box is located in the Parts Competition Pavilion. One entry
per person. The award is presented at the Parts Competition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006.

JUDGING

The judging will be conducted by a panel of six industry professionals, from both the cut sheet and roll fed
industries. The judges will have extensive knowledge of all aspects of the thermoforming process. A minimum
of 3 entries per category is required for an award to be presented.

JUDGING CRITERIA

The judging criteria will include technical mastery, surface finish, distinct quality, market viability (compared to
other processes), originality, material difficulty, mold complexity, and secondary operations. All entries will
remain anonymous until the judging is completed. A part and process write up will be allowed for the judging if
it does not include the name of the thermoformer. The parts will be judged based on the process and not the end
use of the products.

AWARDS

All participants and award winners will be recognized on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 at the Parts Competition
Awards Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel.

For more information, contact: James Alongi

(630) 665-1700 Fax (630) 665-7999
16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-14 Thermoforming

OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM

16th Annual

Parts Competition and Showcase

 Parts Competition  Showcase Entry
Company: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________________________________
City: _______________________________ State: _________________Zip: ____________Country:_____________
Company Contact: ______________________________________________________________________________
Telephone: ___________________________________________ Fax: ______________________________________
E-mail: ________________________________________________________________________________________
Entry Specifications:

Category:  Cut Sheet  Roll Fed
Parts Description: _______________________________________________________________________________
Material Type: _________________________________ Gauge: _______________Supplier: ___________________
Mold Construction: _______________________________________ Mold Builder: _________________________
Part Description and Unique Challenges for Consideration: __________________________________________

FOR SHIPMENT UP TO 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF SHOW:

Please ship to:
Roadway Express
c/o RPM / Complete Expo Parts Competition
3240 Franklin-Limestone Road
Antioch, Tennessee 37013

• Please supply this form with a company labeled photo with each part entry.
• A supplemental sheet can be provided to expand the part description/unique challenges section. Please
refrain from mentioning the company name in this section.
• A faxed copy of your entry is required by August 21st, 2006 to Fax: (630) 665-7799.
• CLEARLY LABEL EACH CARTON: SPE PARTS COMPETITION – DO NOT OPEN!
• Parts will be accepted from August 21st to September 11th, 2006.
• Judging will be done prior to opening of show – entries must be received prior to September 11th, 2006.
IF YOU DESIRE TO HAVE YOUR PARTS RETURNED, YOU MUST PROVIDE PACKAGING AND EN-
CLOSE A PRE-ADDRESSED RETURN LABEL AND PREPAID SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS.

Signature: ________________________________________________________________ Date: _________________

For more information, please contact James Alongi, Maac Machinery, (630) 665-1700, Fax (630) 665-7799,
or email: jalongi@maacmachinery.com.

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION
S-15 Thermoforming

16th Annual Thermoforming Conference

September 17th – 20th, 2006
For Reservations: Call 615.255.8400

Nashville Convention Center

Request: SPE Thermoforming Rate

Renaissance Nashville Hotel

of $143.00

Nashville, Tennessee

**Please note! The hotel will require a deposit
of one night’s room and tax at the time the
reservation is made. Cancellations made after
August 13, 2006 will result in the forfeiture of
one night’s deposit. Any reservation made
after August 13, 2006 will require a nonrefundable
one night’s deposit at the time the
reservation is made.

Check out our websites at:
http://www.4spe.org/ communities/divisions/d25.php
www.thermoformingdivision.com

For Information Contact:

CONFERENCE COORDINATOR:
GWEN MATHIS
706.235.9298 • Fax 706.295.4276
E-mail: gmathis224@aol.com

16TH CONFERENCE SECTION S-16 Thermoforming

Q U A R T E R L Y
These sponsors enable us to publish ThermoformingQUARTERLY
TECHNICAL SECTION
Chairman’s Corner ………………………………………………………… Inside Front Cover
Membership Memo: 10 Years – A Good Time to Reflect …………………………… 2
New Members ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Spotlight on Industry: Placon Corp. ………………………………………………………… 8
Spring Board Meeting Schedule ……………………………………………………………… 9
2006 Thermoforming Conference Registration Form……………………………… 26
Thermoforming Quarterly Index …………………………………………………………… 30
Membership Application ……………………………………………………………………… 37
Index of Sponsors ………………………………………………………………………………… 40
Board of Directors List……………………………………………………. Inside Back Cover
Lead Technical Article:
Novel Method For Rapid Determination of Thermoformability …………………………… 10
Industry Practice:
Heating Filled Plastics ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
University News:
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology ………………………………………………………………… 19
Industry Practice:
History of Thermoforming – Part III……………………………………………………………………. 21
Thermoforming 101:
Draft Angles……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Book Review:
Measuring to Manage: Using Measurable Data to Get Maximum
Employee Performance ………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
DIVISION ACTIVITIES
Q U A R T E R L Y
These sponsors enable us to publish ThermoformingQUARTERLY
TECHNICAL SECTION
Chairman’s Corner ………………………………………………………… Inside Front Cover
Membership Memo: 10 Years – A Good Time to Reflect …………………………… 2
New Members ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Spotlight on Industry: Placon Corp. ………………………………………………………… 8
Spring Board Meeting Schedule ……………………………………………………………… 9
2006 Thermoforming Conference Registration Form……………………………… 26
Thermoforming Quarterly Index …………………………………………………………… 30
Membership Application ……………………………………………………………………… 37
Index of Sponsors ………………………………………………………………………………… 40
Board of Directors List……………………………………………………. Inside Back Cover
Lead Technical Article:
Novel Method For Rapid Determination of Thermoformability …………………………… 10
Industry Practice:
Heating Filled Plastics ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
University News:
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology ………………………………………………………………… 19
Industry Practice:
History of Thermoforming – Part III……………………………………………………………………. 21
Thermoforming 101:
Draft Angles……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Book Review:
Measuring to Manage: Using Measurable Data to Get Maximum
Employee Performance ………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
DIVISION ACTIVITIES
Contents

A NOTE TO
PROSPECTIVE
AUTHORS

TFQ is an “equal opportunity”
publisher! You will note that we have
several categories of technical articles,
ranging from the super-high tech
(sometimes with equations!), to
industry practice articles, to book
reviews, how to articles, tutorial
articles, and so on. Got an article that
doesn’t seem to fit in these categories?
Send it to Jim Throne, Technical Editor,
anyway. He’ll fit it in! He promises. [By
the way, if you are submitting an
article, Jim would appreciate it on
CD-ROM in DOC format. All graphs
and photos should be black and white
and of sufficient size and contrast to
be scannable. Thanks.]

Thermoforming

QUARTERLY

A JOURNAL PUBLISHED EACH CALENDAR
QUARTER BY THE THERMOFORMING DIVISION
OF THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS

Editor

Gwen Mathis

(706) 235-9298 • Fax (706) 295-4276
gmathis224@aol.com
Technical Editor

Dr. James Throne

Sherwood Technologies, Inc.
1797 Santa Barbara Drive
Dunedin, FL 34698-3347
1-800-273-6370 • Fax (727) 734-5081
throne@foamandform.com
jthrone@tampabay.rr.com

Sponsorships

Laura Pichon

(815) 678-2131 Ext. 624
Fax (815) 678-4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Thermoforming Quarterly® is published four times annually
as an informational and educational bulletin
to the members of the Society of Plastics
Engineers, Thermoforming Division, and the
thermoforming industry. The name, “Thermoforming
Quarterly®” and its logotype, are registered trademarks
of the Thermoforming Division of the Society
of Plastics Engineers, Inc. No part of this publication
may be reproduced in any form or by any means
without prior written permission of the publisher,
copyright holder. Opinions of the authors are their
own, and the publishers cannot be held responsible
for opinions or representations of any unsolicited
material. Printed in the U.S.A.

Thermoforming Quarterly® is registered in the US
Patent and Trademark Office (Registration no.
2,229,747).

1
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

MEMBERSHIP MEMO

10 Years – A Good
Time to Reflect

BY MIKE SIROTNAK, MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN

The New Year will bring

If you have any suggestions

I
I
cannot believe that I have

some interesting challenges

on how to improve, grow or

been a member of the SPE

for all of us. Our Conference

challenge this Conference,

Thermoforming Division for

will be held September 17th

please feel free to contact one

10 years and your Member

– 20th in Nashville, Tennesof
us on the Board. The

ship Chairman for 8 years.

see. I think Nashville is my

amount of “good works” we

We have been through quite

favorite location for our Con

are able to accomplish due to

a bit in those years. We have

ference. It has everything

a successful Conference is

had some amazing

hard to believe. Please

highs – Chicago in

continue to support

1999 – and some unfor-

MEMBERSHIP REPORT

us, so that we may

tunate lows – Milwau

as of 1/4/06

continue to support

kee in 2001. We have

and grow our indus

had some outstanding

Primary Paid …………………..1,144 try.

growth in both our

As always, I ask

Conference attendance Secondary Paid………………….496

each and every one of

and in the quality of

Total Membership …………..1,640 you to continue to

our Quarterly. We are

support membership.

offering more scholar-Goal as of 6/30/2007 ………2,000

If you know of any

ship and committing

one who may benefit

to more good deeds.

you need, good food, great

from this Quarterly or from

Our industry seems to be re

music and plenty to see,

any of the other advantages

ally taking off with advance

right within walking dis

that membership offers,

ments in automotive, medi

tance. Martin Stephenson is

please let us know. Have a

cal packaging and consumer

working long hours to bring

great year and I hope to see

goods. The future of the

us a great Conference this

you in Nashville.

Thermoforming Industry

year. The technical program

God bless America!!

continues to look bright. The

is in the capable hands of

only way to keep up with

Mike Lowery. I urge all of

this fast-moving industry is

you to do anything you can

to continue to support this

to support this Conference.

Division.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 2

To Our New Members

Roger E. Blanton
Springfield,
Missouri

Thomas E. Brown
Allen Extruders,
Inc.

Ron Connell

Alcoa Reynolds
Food
Packaging

Phillip Crosbie
Marplex
Victoria, Australia

Matthias H.
Erhardt
Siemens Energy
& Automation
Norcross, Georgia

Brian K. Evenson
Plastica Plus, Inc.
Brainard,

Minnesota

Eric Faucher
Marquexz
Transtech
Montreal, QC –
Canada

Ke Feng
GE Plastics
Washington, West

Virginia

Joe Green
ManPlas, Ltd.
Stockport, United

Kingdom

Jeff Griffin
Eviro Systems,
Inc.
Seminole,
Oklahoma

Seref Halulu
Saykap As
Ikltell, Turkey

Howard J. Kenney
Spartech Plastics
Clayton, Missouri

Youngseok Seiok

Kim
Mississauga,

Ontario –

Canada

Edward Kus
Intermatic, Inc.
Spring Grove,

Illinois

Niall Marshall
Kamption Gate
South Africa

Steven L. Masia
SAPPI Fine Paper
Westbrook, Maine

Jason N. Mattia
Alcoa Kama
Hazleton,

Pennsylvania

Atul Mehta
New Berlin,

Wisconsin

Stephanie

Morgan Fisher
Stanelco, Inc.
Orlando, Florida

Richard Motill
Proex, Inc.
Batavia, Illinois

Paul J. Nicholson
Signum NZ Ltd.
Greenmount,

New Zealand

Thomas S.
Pedersen
Rexam Plastics
Containers
Skanderborg,
Denmark

Mark Rath
Reynolds Food
Packaging
Grove City,
Pennsylvania

Doug Shelton
McConkay
Company
Summer,
Washington

Benjamin W.
Smith
Devon,
Pennsylvania

Paul W. Tomich
First Choice
Packaging
Fremont, Ohio

Bill Trometer

Asheville
Thermoform
Plastics

Fletcher, North
Carolina

Frank Tucker
Als Garden Art
Pty Ltd.
Gold Coast,
Australia

David Vadney
Pactiv
Canandaigua,

New York

WHY JOIN?

It has never been more important to be a member of your professional society
than now, in the current climate of change and volatility in the plastics industry.
Now, more than ever, the information you access and the personal networks you
create can and will directly impact your future and your career.

Active membership in SPE:

• keeps you current
• keeps you informed
• keeps you connected
The question really isn’t “why join?” but …

WHY NOT?

3
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

2005 THERMOFORMING PARTS COMPETITION WINNERS

R E T R A C T I O N

We sincerely apologize to Perfecseal, Prent Corporation and Profile Plastics for errors in the Parts Competition
Section that were published in the 4th Quarter Thermoforming Quarterly. We regret our mistakes
and wish to issue the correct information. ~ Editor

Critical Barrier Package Award

The redesign of
packaging for two
medical devices, a
sling system and a
subfascial hammock,
was initiated in order
to reduce the size of the packaging and to make it
possible to denest the trays without the occurrence
of tissue interleafing. By rearranging the orientation
of the devices, Perfecseal was able to achieve trayvolume
reductions of 68% for the sling system and
54% for the subfascial hammock. Additionally, by
using C0025 Internal Denest PETG supplied by Pacur,
Inc., Perfecseal was able to eliminate the problem of
tissue interleafing without requiring a revalidation
of the seal parameters, which would have been necessary
if a silicone-coated material had been chosen
instead.

Perfecseal (A. Demis Co.); 920.303.7129
www.perfecseal.com

Consumer Electronics Award

The packaging for Western
Digital’s Portable USB Drive is
a unique set of four
thermoforms, each with a specific
role to play in creating the
package. Two static dissipative
inner thermoforms snap together
to secure the hard drive
inside trays that are sealed together
using radio frequency
(RF). The inner parts are made
from 0.020-inch clear Pentastat ASKPET 56 supplied
by Klockner Pentaplast of America, Inc., and the trays
are made from 0.030-inch clear GAG supplied by Thai
Kodama Co. Ltd. ASKPET 56 offers ESD protection
for the actual product, and the use of GAG provides
the ability to RF seal. This 100% recyclable plastic
design meets product-protection requirements while
providing product visibility, ESD protection, and
shelf appeal. The packages, which afford both front
and back views of the product, require less shipping
space because they interlock when every other one

is rotated 180° in the shipping carton.

Prent Corporation; 608.754.0276; www.prent.com

Roll Fed Competition

Most Unique Package Award

The DePuy Orthopaedics
Tempfix External Fixation System
package consists of five individual
thermoformed parts.
Each of three modular inner
trays carries one of four different
fixation devices, along with
the tools for their application.
One universal cover snap-fits onto each of the modular
inner trays, while one universal outer tray holds
and protects any of the inner/cover combinations.
Each product tray with cover is loaded into the sealable
outer tray for sterilization. The cover provides
an area for a graphic feature. All inner trays and cover
are formed from .040 Blue Tint PETG. The outer tray
is formed from .045 Blue Tint PETG Goex Corp. supplies
the materials.

Prent Corp., 608.754.0276; www.prent.com

Multipart Award

The panoramic analog dental X-ray
enclosure required a total of nine parts
(12 parts for the digital model), all of
which were pressure formed into machined
aluminum water-cooled, textured
molds. The texturing of molds
allows for a consistent part finish for
all parts and eliminates evidence of
sink marks, knit lines, and gate marks
that are typically associated with injection molding.
Clean part-to-part fit is accomplished with undercuts
in the molds, which are pneumatically articulated
with solenoids tied into the digital programming logic
of the forming machines. Because of the elliptical
contours of the enclosure’s design, the undercuts are
broken into multiple sections for each side of the
parts. Tight process control of molded-in color and
texture for consistent part-to-part appearance was
required. The material used was 0.187 to 0.375 gauge
Kydex T, supplied by Kleerdex Co.

Profile Plastics; 847.604.5100; www.thermoform.com

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 4

Need help with
your technical
school or
college
expenses?

I
I
f you or someone you
know is working
towards a career in the
plastic industry, let the SPE
Thermoforming Division
help support those
education goals.

Our mission is to
facilitate the advancement
of thermoforming
technologies through
education, application,
promotion, and research.
Within this past year alone,
our organization has
awarded multiple
scholarships! Get involved
and take advantage of
available support from your
plastic industry!

Start by completing the
application forms at
www.thermoformingdivision.com
or at www.4spe.com. The
deadline for applications is
January 15th, 2007. 

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

5ThermoformingQUARTERLY
Thermoforming & Extrusion Consultants
Manufacturing Processes Analysis
Product & Design Development
Training & Seminars
PH:843.971.7833 · Fax: 843.216.6151
On the Web at www.plasticoncepts.com
443 Long Point Rd Ste H · Mt. Pleasant · SC · 29464-4569

THERMOFORMER OF THE YEAR
CRITERIA FOR 2007

E
E
very year The SPE Thermoforming
Division selects a individual
who has made a outstanding
contribution to our industry and
awards them the Thermoformer of
the Year award.

The award in the past has gone
to industry pioneers like Bo Stratton
and Sam Shapiro, who were among
the first to found thermoforming
companies and develop our industry.
We have included machine designers
and builders Gaylord Brown
and Robert Butzko and toolmaker
John Greip, individuals who helped
develop the equipment and mold
ideas we all use today. We have
also honored engineers like Lew
Blanchard and Stephen Sweig, who
developed and patented new methods
of thermoforming. Additionally,
we have featured educators like Bill
McConnell, Jim Throne and
Herman R. Osmers, who have both
spread the word and were key figures
in founding the Thermoforming
Division.

We’re looking for more individuals
like these and we’re turning to
the Thermoforming community to
find them. Requirements would include
several of the following:

Founder or Owner of a
Thermoforming Company
Patents Developed
Is currently active in or recently
retired from the Thermoforming
Industry
Is a Processor – or capable of
processing
Someone who developed new
markets for or started a new
trend or style of Thermoforming
Significant contributions to the
work of the Thermoforming
Division Board of Directors
Has made a significant educational
contribution to the
Thermoforming Industry.
If you would like to bring someone
who meets some or all of these
requirements to the attention of the
Thermoforming Division, please fill
out a nomination form and a oneto
two-page biography and forward
it to:

Thermoforming Division Awards

Committee

% Productive Plastics, Inc.

Hal Gilham

103 West Park Drive

Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045

Tel: 856-778-4300

Fax: 856-234-3310

Email:
halg@productiveplastics.com

You can also find the form and see all the past
winners at www.thermoformingdivision.com in
the Thermoformer of the Year section.

You can submit nominations and bios at any time
but please keep in mind our deadline for
submissions is no later than December 1st of
each year, so nominations received after that
time will go forward to the next year.

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 6

Thermoformers of the Year …

THERMOFORMER OF

THE YEAR 2007

1982

William K. McConnell, Jr.
McConnell Company

1983

E. Bowman Stratton, Jr.
Auto-Vac Corp.
1984

Gaylord Brown, Brown Machine

1985

Robert L. Butzko,
Thermtrol Corp.

1986

George Wiss,
Plastofilm Industries

1987

Dr. Herman R. Osmers

Educator & Consultant

1988

Robert Kittridge
Fabri-Kal Corporation

1989

Jack Pregont, Prent Corporation

1990

Ripley W. Gage

Gage Industries

1991

Stanley Rosen
Mold Systems Corp.

1992

Samuel Shapiro
Maryland Cup
Sweetheart Plastics

1993

John Grundy
Profile Plastics

1994

R. Lewis Blanchard
Dow Chemical
1995

James L. Blin, Triangle Plastics

1996

John Griep
Portage Casting & Mold

1997

John S. Hopple, Hopple Plastics

1998

Lyle Shuert, Shuert Industries

1999

Art Buckel, McConnell Company

2000

Dr. James Throne
Sherwood Technologies

2001

Joseph Pregont, Prent Corp.

2002

Stephen Sweig, Profile Plastics

2003

William Benjamin
Benjamin Mfg.

2004

Steve Hasselbach, CMI Plastics

2005

Manfred Jacob
Jacob Kunststofftechnik

Presented at the September 2007 Thermoforming Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Awards Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2007
THERMOFORMER OF THE YEAR. Please help us by identifying worthy candidates.
This prestigious honor will be awarded to a member of our industry that has made
a significant contribution to the Thermoforming Industry in a Technical, Educational,
or Management aspect of Thermoforming. Nominees will be evaluated
and voted on by the Thermoforming Board of Directors at the Winter 2007 meeting.
The deadline for submitting nominations is December 1st, 2006. Please complete
the form below and include all biographical information.

Person Nominated: _______________________________________ Title: _____________________
Firm or Institution: _________________________________________________________________
Street Address: _____________________________ City, State, Zip: ________________________
Telephone: _________________ Fax: _________________________ E-mail: _________________

Biographical Information:

•
Nominee’s Experience in the Thermoforming Industry.
•
Nominee’s Education (include degrees, year granted, name and location of
university)
•
Prior corporate or academic affiliations (include company and/or institutions,
title, and approximate dates of affiliations)
•
Professional society affiliations
•
Professional honors and awards.
•
Publications and patents (please attach list).
•
Evaluation of the effect of this individual’s achievement on technology and
progress of the plastics industry. (To support nomination, attach substantial
documentation of these achievements.)
•
Other significant accomplishments in the field of plastics.
•
Professional achievements in plastics (summarize specific achievements upon
which this nomination is based on a separate sheet).
Individual Submitting Nomination: _______________________ Title: _____________________
Firm or Institution: _________________________________________________________________
Address: ____________________________________ City, State, Zip: ________________________
Phone: ____________________ Fax: _________________________ E-mail: _________________

Signature: ______________________________________ Date: ____________________
(ALL NOMINATIONS MUST BE SIGNED)

Please submit all nominations to: Hal Gilham,

Productive Plastics, 103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08045

7
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY

PLACON CORPORATION

P
P
lacon Corporation, now in

its 40th year, was the dream

and is still the passion of

entrepreneur and engineer

Tom Mohs.

Headquartered in Madison,

Wisconsin, Placon is a global

thermoformer, supplying

customers on four continents

with well-designed, quality
manufactured thermoforms.
Placon services its global
customers from three facilities –
Madison, WI; Loves Park, IL; and
Suzhou, China.

Company revenues exceeded
$85 million in 2005 through the
efforts of nearly 350 team
members.

Tom Mohs, who today is the
corporation’s Chairman, is one of
the industry’s original
entrepreneurs. Tom’s keen
interest in plastics and plastics
processing were evident early on
in his life when he led an effort
as a student at the UW Madison’s
College of Engineering,
to convince the Dean to
support a plastics processing
course in its curriculum and he
succeeded.

After graduation, Tom went to
work in product development
with the Plax Corporation in
Connecticut. There, he applied
his plastics processing
knowledge and design skills to
creating new products,
particularly thermoformed
plastic products. Tom was one of
the original developers of the
thermoformed high impact
polystyrene dairy container and
lid.

Always having had an interest
in starting his own enterprise,

Tom decided after four years to
return to his hometown and start
a custom thermoforming
business. He had a lot of ideas
for new thermoformed products
and focused on designing them
to efficiently serve their
functions. He brought revolutionary
ideas to product and
tooling design, thermoformer
design and processing. He took
on the tougher design
applications and put forth the
effort needed to further the
capabilities of the industry.

Today, the company’s tagline
“Better Design. Better Packaging.”
ensures the original intent of its
founder.

Placon remains privately held
by Tom and his family, and stays
true to its founder ’s solid
Midwestern values. Tom’s
greatest desire is that Placon
team members can feel proud to
work at Placon and, as a result
of being part of the organization,
can achieve their own personal
development and success.

Placon today is a thriving
corporation listed in the top 20
in the
industry
and is
driving
toward its
goal to
become a
Top 10
North
American
Thermoformer
by
2010. In
achieving
this goal, the
company

believes it will position itself
to be able to remain privatelyheld
and continue to
determine its own destiny
through the next generation.

Placon’s primary markets
are in food, retail and medical
packaging. The company
continues to invest in the
industry’s latest technologies

in equipment and operating
systems, so that it is capable of
continuing to offer its customers
what they need to succeed and
lead in their markets.

Placon will continue to expand
geographically to support its
customers’ regional needs.
Placon opened its first operation
in China in December of 2004 to
service its retail customer base
who, to remain globally
competitive, had to move their
manufacturing operations to
Asia. Outside of Madison and
Loves Park, Placon expects to
continue its geographic
expansion in North America in
the upcoming years before 2010.



Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 8

THERMOFORMING
DIVISION
SPRING BOARD
MEETING SCHEDULE

May 3rd – 7th, 2006
Hilton Oceanfront Resort

23 Ocean Lane
Hilton Head, South Carolina
www.hiltonceanfrontresort.com

(Fly into Savannah, Georgia Airport – 40
Minute Drive; Take I-95 N to Exit #8 Hwy.
278 East – take left at Palmetto Dunes – two
miles to Hilton Gate)

Roundtrip via Low Country Adventures from
Airport – $24.00

Cab Roundtrip – $24.00

FOR RESERVATIONS: Call 843-842-8000
Request SPE Room Rate of $189.00

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Executive Committee Arrive
Technical Chairs Arrive

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

7:30 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast
8:00 am – 10:00 am – Technical Chairs
Meet with Executive Committee
10:00 am – 5:00 p.m. – Executive
Committee Meeting
11:00 am – Noon – James Alongi,
Finance Committee Meet with
Executive Committee
Friday, May 5th, 2006

9:00 am – 11:00 am – Materials
Committee – Promenade 1
9:00 am – 11:00 am – Machinery
Committee – Promenade 8
9:00 am – 11:00 am – Processing
Committee – Captain’s Galley A
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch – Captain’s
Galley B
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – All Other
Committees – Captain’s Galley B
6:00 pm – Board Dinner Off Site – TBD
Saturday, May 6th, 2006

7:30 am – 8:30 am – Breakfast –
Promenade 8
8:30 am – Noon – Board of Directors
Meeting – Promenade 6-7
Golf to be arranged by Joe Peters

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Depart

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

VisittheSPEwebsiteatwww.4spe.org
9ThermoformingQUARTERLY

LEAD TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Novel Method For Rapid Determination
of Thermoformability1

BY A. DHARIA, TRANSMIT TECHNOLOGY GROUP, LLC, IRVING, TEXAS and

D. HYLTON, MCCONNELL CO., INC., FAIRBURN, GEORGIA
Abstract

The demand for large parts with thick walls,
constructed of multiple polymer layers, along with
the desire for quick turn-around time, lower tooling
cost, and low-pressure processing is making
thermoforming very attractive v. injection molding.
Despite the long history, thermoforming is still very
much an art rather than a science. There are very
few reliable tests available to processes and
researchers for analyzing and quantifying
thermoformability. This paper presents a
comparison between current methods and a novel
test apparatus that closely simulates the
thermoforming process under controllable
conditions while collecting quantitative
information, which can be used to assess, compare,
optimize, or predict thermoformability of given
plastic materials.

Introduction

Thermoforming is a widely used process to
produce deep arts of various wall thickness and
surface textures. Production is very cost-effective
with respect to tooling and machine costs and
modern machines can achieve high output rates.
In principle, thermoforming is a simple process of
stretching heating plastic sheet over or into a mold
cavity. Theoretically, the ability of a plastic material
to be shaped by thermoforming depends on the rate
of change of strength or modulus with the change
in strain rate and temperature (1). In reality, the
process is a complex interplay between polymer
molecular weight (MW), molecular weight

1 Ed. Note: This article was presented at ANTEC 2005. It has been
retyped and edited from the ANTEC Proceedings paper. Any
errors, omissions or commissions are solely the responsibility of
the Technical Editor.

distribution (MWD), crystallinity, density, thermal
conductivity, and temperature-dependent melt
viscosity and melt elasticity. Another variable,
which may influence thermoformability, is the
processing history of the extruded sheet stock. The
larger the part and the thicker the wall become, the
more complex is the effect of these factors during
and after the forming process. Significant handson
experience is required to make new polymeric
materials work.

Unlike other processes, thermoforming requires
flat sheet, not pellets, as feedstock. So any material
intended for thermoforming must be first converted
into sheet. Depending on the process of making
sheet, process conditions, process rates, amount of
regrind, and storage conditions, the feedstock may
vary in its thermal stress distribution, within and
between lots. This can create a real blind spot, which
converters overcome by on-line adjustment of the
thermoforming process parameters. The situation
can be even more complex if the extruded sheet
consists of more than one plastic, with dissimilar
natures, or with one side of the sheet grained or
textured. For most other processes, judicious use
of the simple melt flow rate test can help processors
solve many of the processing and quality related
issues.

This is not the case with thermoforming. Actual
determination of thermoformability through field
trials can be very expensive. What test will one use
to make sure whether or not a new material will
thermoform satisfactorily? How does one learn
about lot-to-lot or within-lot variations? How does
one accommodate known variations? There is no
easy-to-use, repeatable, yet comprehensive test to
rescue converters, especially when a new material
or supplier is involved.

Several tests (2) are available, some of which are
very crude, qualitative, easy to understand but not

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 10

repeatable. Others are highly analytical, expensive
and difficult to comprehend. The following is a
review of some of these tests.

Sag test (3). Sag is the temperature-dependent
measure of tensile strength and sheet geometry.
This is the most commonly used test, which
simulates hot creep under no external load. A flat
sheet is clamped in a frame and heated to a forming
temperature inside a forced air oven or by radiant
heaters. The time required for the heated sheet to
sag to a fixed distance is reported as sag resistance.
This test is a useful first step but the results depend
on how the sample is clamped (circular window v.
rectangular window, cantilever v. all sides
clamped), sheet weight, method of heating, surface
area, and sheet thickness. It is often not repeatable
and does not provide any clue about melt elasticity,
i.e., how the heated sheet will react to external

.

stresses in, say, plug-assisted forming. The plastic
may have a very high sag resistance but may have
no ability to form at all.

Hot tensile/creep test (4). As the polymer
temperature increases, its strength and modulus
decrease and elongation increases. Thermoforming
occurs in the rubbery plateau, at temperatures
above the glass transition temperature, Tg. The
broader the rubbery plateau and the higher the
polymer modulus at the forming temperature, the
better the thermoformability. In this test, a specimen
is die-cut from the extruded sheet. It is heated to
the desired temperature in a forced air
environmental chamber and is stretched at constant
speed. The tensile modulus or strength is plotted
against strain. Even though quantitative in nature,
hot tensile tests are difficult to carry out with any
degree of reliability. At elevated temperatures,
stretching is not confined to the neck-down portion,
and grip-slip or grip-extrusion is common. Slow
heating rates may induce annealing.

Hot creep tests are more sensitive than hot tensile
tests to changes in polymer character. Further, heat
is conducted to the load cell, affecting the accuracy.

Neither test truly replicates biaxial stretching
under rapid speed (>20 mm/sec), and heat transfer
between the mold and the heated plastic sheet that
is so common even in the simplest thermoforming
process is not present in either test.

Dynamic rheological tests. Dynamic mechanical
testing is used to determine the storage or elastic

modulus (G’) and the loss or viscous modulus (G”)
as functions of temperature or strain rate. This test
requires less material than those given above, can
be done rapidly, and the results are highly
repeatable. The data provide indirect information
about MD and MWD, as well as direct information
of the complex modulus as a function of
temperature (5). Higher zero shear viscosity,
broader MWD, and higher modulus at the forming
temperature are considered to be favorable
attributes of a polymer. However, the test
equipment is expensive and requires a trained
person to run the test and interpret the data. Most
importantly, it does not reflect the variables in the
thermoforming process.

The thermoforming process can be simulated
through the stress relaxation experiment (6). In this
test, stress is applied to the plastic and the decay in
stress relaxation is measured. Stress relaxation time
is reported to increase linearly with sag resistance
(5). However, at elevated temperatures at highapplied
stress levels, the creep rates are very high,
making interpretation of the creep data difficult.
In addition, the stress relaxation constant varies
with the test parameters selected.

Melt tension test. In this test, the plastic is melted,
extruded into a fiber, and the fiber is stretched at
constant velocity. One device that performs this test
is the Rheotan attached to a capillary rheometer.
The test is repeated at various velocities. The force
and velocity at which the fiber breaks are reported
as melt strength and draw velocity. Even though
this test is useful, it is not very representative of
the thermoforming process. First, the process is
done above the melt temperature of the polymer,
while most thermoforming is done in the rubbery
region of the polymer. Thus, all information relating
to sheet extrusion parameters are lost during the
melting step. Fiber is one-dimensional while thin
sheet is two-dimensional and thick sheet is threedimensional.
The draw strength and velocity can
vary with the way in which the fiber is cooled.
Further, some plastics tend to strengthen by
stretching in one dimension. This is a simple test
and results are easy to interpret, but the data do
not correlate well with the forming process
variables.

(continued on next page)

11
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

Numerical methods (7). There are computational
tools which numerically simulate thermoforming
and predict response to input variables. However,
these methods, like most numerical simulation
methods, are based on simplified assumptions, and
require values of many polymer characteristics,
many of which are not readily available or are
expensive to obtain. The free surface flow involved
and the complexity of modeling melt elasticity
make these models less reliable.

In absence of any real, easy-to-use and easy-tointerpret
test method, one must resort to actual
thermoforming. This may require a large amount
of plastic sheet, time, and money. Results of one
trial may not always be applicable to actual
production. Therefore, we propose a method that
overcomes many of these obstacles.

Proposed Equipment

As shown in Figure 1, the proposed automated
equipment is a miniature version of actual
thermoforming machine and incorporates all
essential unit steps – heating, forming, and cooling.
It uses 4-inch x 4-inch square sample of desired

thickness, preferably die-cut from extruded
feedstock, but it can also be injection or compression
molded. Most quality control labs have 8-inch x 8inch
heated compression presses and injection
molding machines. The sample is clamped between
two insulated plates, and the tray is manually
placed on the loading rail.

A software input menu includes the selection of
the forming method, forming temperature, heating

Figure 1. Thermoformability Analyzer9.

rate, heat soak time, ram speed, cooling time,
maximum force, and the maximum draw depth.
Once activated, the sample tray moves to the
heating station where two infrared or ceramic
heaters heat the sample from above and below. Both
heaters can be programmed independently and can
be positioned at desired distances from the sample
surfaces. A non-contact, laser-guided infrared
temperature probe continuously measures the
surface temperature.

When the sheet reaches the preset surface
temperature, or the preset temperature and heat
soak time, the tray moves to the forming station in
less than a second. A plunger, equipped with a male
plug descends into the sheet at a preprogrammed
speed. The force required to deform the heated
sheet is continuously measured by a load cell
mounted on the top of the plug. The computer
interface captures the force data and plots it as a
function of either the distance from the surface or
time.

As soon as either the preset force is reached or
the sheet is deformed to a preprogrammed distance,
a fan is activated to cool the sample for a
preprogrammed time. At the end of the cooling
time, the plunger retracts and the tray carrying the
cold, formed part is returned to the loading station.
The part is then manually removed from the tray,
inspected for wall thinning, tearing, blisters, burn
marks, loss of grain or texture, loss of gloss, fading,
and so on. Thickness is manually measured and
the thickness distribution recorded.

The equipment and software allow selection of
pressure forming, vacuum forming, or vacuumassisted
pressure forming.

The force data can either be used as is or with
suitable software, can be converted into a predictive
model.

The equipment overcomes several problems of
earlier methods:

•
It uses a small amount of sample, either from
existing feedstock or made using available
quality control equipment.
•
It heats material rapidly but under controllable
conditions. This allows mimicking actual
thermoforming conditions. Further, the top and
bottom of the sheet can be heated to different
temperatures either by adjusting the distance
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 12

of the heaters to the sheet or by adjusting the
heating rates. This is helpful when coextruded
sheets are used.

•
The force is measured using an accurate load
cell while the sample is losing heat, as is typical
of the actual thermoforming process.
•
The ability to change forming speed can be
useful in studying the effect of increased line
speed.
•
The unit allows changes in plug geometry and
type of plug material, simulating the effect of
plug materials.
•
Once the part is formed, it is cooled under
controlled conditions to determine the effect of
cooling on shrinkage, warpage, grain distortion,
gloss variation, and so on. These observations
cannot be made in any of the aforementioned
methods.
•
The equipment is as easy to use as the melt flow
indexer and it provides quantitative data under
controlled conditions, which can be repeated.
Test Results

Extruded sheets of nylon, HDPE, ABS, PP, PC,
PVC, PMMA, POM, HIPS, PETG, filled TPO, and
HMS-TPO were obtained from suppliers. Samples
were cut from various feedstocks and
thermoformed using a 100 mm long, 50 mm
diameter, 30-degree truncated cone plug under
various plug speeds and sheet temperatures.

Figure 2 shows the relationship between the
forming force and depth of draw at 150°C for
several polymers. The required force increases with
increase in melt strength. Polymers with true strain
hardening show an increase in the force required
with increasing draw depth, as seen for POM in
Figure 3. For crystalline polymers, an increase in
force at the deepest draws is due to the cooling of
the sheet as it contacts the cold plug. The sag
distance can be estimated from the depth of
penetration of the plug before the transducer
measures a non-zero force.

Figure 4 shows the effect of sheet temperature
on the force required to form various polymers to
a draw depth of 100 mm at 20 mm/second using
the truncated cone plug. As seen for most

Figure 2. Forming force vs. draw depth at 150 C (truncated cone
plug mold at 20 mm/second speed).

Figure 3. Effect of cooling on force for Acetal (Cup mold, 20 mm/
second).

Figure 4. Relationship between forming temperature and force
(truncated cone plug at 20 mm/second speed).

(continued on next page)

13
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

amorphous materials such as ABS, HIPS, PMMA,
PVC and PETG, the force decreases nearly linearly
with sheet temperature. For crystalline polymers,
the force does not decrease linearly. For HDPE and
PP, a step change in the force occurs around the
polymer melt temperature. For nylon and PC, the
force actually increases around their melt
temperatures.2

Figure 5a. HMS-TPO, effect of temperature at 20 mm/second, cup
shape plug.

Figure 5b. Effect of temperature, filled TPO.

Figures 5a and 5b show the effect of temperature
on the forming characteristics of talc-filled TPO and
HMS-TPO. The TPOs have similar tensile strengths
and moduli at room temperature. HMS-TPO does
not show a loss in melt strength while the filled
TPO does. Figure 5c shows the effect of test speed
on the forming characteristics of these two
polyolefins. At high speeds, the filled TPO shows

2 Ed. Note: Commercially available PC is normally an amorphous
polymer with a glass transition temperature of around 150°C.

Figure 5c. Effect of forming speed.

substantial loss in melt strength whereas the HMS-
TPO shows very little change in the same
temperature range. The increase in stress at greater
deformation indicates a strain-hardening effect.

Figure 6. Tensile yield stress vs. temperature.
Figure 6 shows the tensile strength v. temperature
for these two TPOs, measured at a 50-mm/min
crosshead speed. The HMS-TPO has a much higher
tensile strength than that for the filled TPO.

Conclusions

The current test methods reviewed above do not
encompass the wide range of variables found in
even the simplest of thermoforming processes. The
proposed novel device has demonstrated its use in
determining the thermoformability of many
polymer materials. Quality control, process
engineering, raw material suppliers, and materials
development engineers can use this simple but
precise device for addressing thermoforming
material- and process-related issues. With further

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 14

effort, a built-in predictive model
can be incorporated to allow
efficient process set-ups. 

References

1.
J. L. Throne, Technology
of Thermoforming,
Hanser/Gardner
Publications, Cincinnati,
1996.
2.
D. Hylton, “Laboratory
techniques for predicting
material
thermoformability,”
ANTEC 1991.
3.
K. E. McHugh and K.
Ogale, “High melt
strength polypropylene
for melt phase
thermoforming,” ANTEC
1990.
4.
N. McCauley, E. Harkin-
Jones, and W. R. Murphy,
“Thermoforming of
polypropylene,” Plastics
Engineering, July 1996.
5.
V. E. Malpass and C. H.
White, SPE Journal, Nov.,
1971, Vol. 27.
6.
G. R. Ziegchner and P. D.
Patel, “Comprehensive
evaluation of PP melt
rheology,” 2nd World
Conference on Chemical
Engineering, Montreal,
October 1981.
7.
B. Hagemann and P.
Eyerer, “Improving
industry through
technical development.”
8.
D. Hylton and C.
Tameka, “Rheological
studies of commercial
thermoforming
materials,” ANTEC 1988.
9.
A. Dharia, U. S. Patent
Application 10/920,127.
These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

15ThermoformingQUARTERLY

INDUSTRY PRACTICE

Heating Filled Plastics

BY JIM THRONE, SHERWOOD TECHNOLOGIES, INC., DUNEDIN, FL

W
W
e’ve all heard the argument that filled plastics
heat at different rates than unfilled plastics.
This Industry Practice article explores this
argument with simple examples. The theoretical
analysis will appear in a subsequent Technical
Article in TFQ.

We need to make some simplifying assumptions.
Consider our filler to be TiO2, either an opacifier at
a relatively low loading of 10 wt% (Example A) or
a filler at relatively high loading of 40 wt%
(Example B). For simplicity, consider the particle
shape to be spherical with a particle size of 10
microns. Consider the plastic to be generic. We’ll
need to make additional assumptions later.

Some simple arithmetic, first.

Volume Fraction: The filler volume fraction is given
in terms of weight fraction as:

Volfract = wtfract (density/density)

polymerfiller

The density of TiO2 = 4.36. The density of our
generic plastic is 1.0, say. The volume fractions of
our two loadings are:

Example A: Volfract = 0.10 (1/4.36) = 0.0235 or 2.35

vol%
Example B: Volfract = 0.40 (1/4.36) = 0.0917 or

9.17%

Plastic-filled Density: The density of a filled plastic
is given as:

1/r = wtfract/r + (1-wtfract)/r

filledfillerplastic

Example A: r = 1/[0.10/4.36 + 0.9/1] = 1.08

filled

Example B: r = 1/[0.40/4.36 + 0.6/1] = 1.45

filled

Specific Heat: The specific heat or heat capacity is
a measure of the amount of heat required to heat
the plastic to its forming temperature. The greater
the specific heat, the more energy is required.

SpHt = Volfract x SpHt + (1-Volfract) x

filledfiller

SpHt

plastic

The specific heat of TiO2 is 0.2. The specific heat
of neat generic plastic is, say, 0.4.

Example A: SpHt = 0.0235 x 0.2 + (1-0.0235) x

filled

0.4 = 0.394
Example B: SpHt = 0.0917 x 0.2 + (1-0.0917) x

filled

0.4 = 0.382
Thermal Conductivity: The equation for thermal
conductivity of a filled plastic is relatively complex.
It is the Nielsen equation, used to determine, among
other things, the mechanical properties of
composite systems.

k/k= (1+ABVolfract)/(1-BQVolfract)

filledplastic

B = (k/k-1)/(k/k+A)

fillerplasticfillerplastic

Q=1+[(1-Volfract)/Volfract2)]v

maxmax

A=kappaE-1
Volfract max = 0.6 (random spheres)
kappaE = 2.5 (spheres)

The most important aspect of this equation is the
term, Volfractmax. This is the maximum packing that
can be achieved with the particular filler. For this
case, we assume that we have uniformly
dimensioned spheres. As a result, A = 1.5.

Example A: Q = 1 + [(1-0.6)/0.62]0.0235 = 1.026

B=(40/0.4-1)/(40/0.4+1.5) = 0.975

k/k = (1+1.5×0.975×0.0235)/(1

filledplastic

0.975×1.026×0.0235) = 1.059

Example B: Q = 1+1.11×0.0917 = 1.102

B = 0.975

k/k = (1+1.5*0.975*0.0917)/(1

filledplastic

0.975*1.102*0.0917) = 1.258

Now we can summarize the changes in thermal
properties because of the presence of TiO2 in the
plastic.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 16

Summary
Filler conc Inc in dens Inc in sp ht Inc in thermal k Inc in heat
Wt % duty

0 1 1
10 8% -1.25%
40 45% -4.5%

As expected, increasing filler concentration
results in increased filled polymer density. The
specific heat does not substantially decrease.
Therefore, the total amount of energy required to
raise a specific volume of filled plastic to its forming
temperature (that is, its specific gravity times its
density or its heat duty) increases substantially with
increasing filler concentration. In the case of 40 wt%
TiO2, the additional heat duty is 38.5%.

In short, the more rock there is, the more energy
it takes to heat it.

Now we explore another facet of this question:
Does the presence of filler change the way in which
the plastic receives radiant energy? To answer this
question, we need to consider geometry. This time,
we consider a cube of plastic, T units on a side.
Assume for the moment that the filler is compressed
into a cube, t units on a side. What is the volume
occupied by the filler?

A simple form of the equation is:

A = (t/T)2 = (Volfract)2/3

filler

Example A: A = (0.0235)2/3 = 0.082 or 8.2% of the

filler

surface is filler

Example B: A = (0.0917) 2/3 = 0.203 or 20.3% of

filler

the surface is filler1

We now need to make some simplifying
assumptions about the volumetric distribution of
the particles in the plastic matrix. Recall that our
particle size is 10 microns. We assume that the
particles are uniformly distributed throughout the
volume. As a result, the first 10 microns of the filled
plastic are composed of about 8% filler for the 10
wt% dosage and about 20% for the 40 wt% dosage.
For the rest of this journey, consider only the higher
dosage case.

As we know from FTIR graphs, all plastics are
semi-transparent to incident far-infrared radiation.
Consider the case where the average transmission

1 This is not quite correct, because we are not properly taking into
account the volume occupied by the filler. But, considering all the
other assumptions …

10
5.9% 6.4%
25.8% 38.5%

of radiant energy though the first 10 microns of
plastic is 50%. This means that 50% of the incident
energy is absorbed by the first 10 microns of plastic
and 50% is transmitted to the next 10 microns.
Furthermore, assume that in the next 10 microns of
plastic, 50% of that energy is absorbed and 50% is
transmitted to the third 10 microns of plastic. And
so on.

As we said, we are using the 40 wt% dosage case.
Assume that the filler particles reside in 10 micron
layers throughout the plastic. As a result, 20% of
the first 10 microns of plastic contain filler particles.
As does the next 10 microns and the next 10
microns, and so on. For this analysis, consider that
all the incoming radiation that impinges on the filler
particles is totally absorbed, to be ultimately
conducted into the plastic.

Now consider inbound radiation to the first 10
microns of filled plastic. That portion that impinges
on the filler is completely absorbed. That portion
that impinges on plastic is only 50% absorbed, as
we assumed above. This is written as:

1st Layer:

Absorbed:
inbound radiation x filler area +
absorbed portion x open area =

Transmission:
filler block of all radiation x filler

area + transmitted portion x open

area =

Absorbed:
100% of 20% + 50% of (100%-20%)
= 60%

Transmitted: 0% of 20% + 50% of (100%-20%) =
40%

Now for the second layer, only 50% of the original
radiation is available. And an additional 20% of the
surface area is blocked by filler particles. So this is
written as:

2nd Layer:

Absorbed:
50% of 20% + 50% of 50% of (80% 20%)
= 25%

(continued on next page)

17
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

Transmitted: 0% of 20% + 50%

of 50% of (80%

20%) = 15%

On to the third layer. Only 50%
of the 50% of the previous
radiation is available for
absorption and transmission.
And an additional 20% of that
surface area is blocked. So we
write:

3rd Layer:
Absorbed: 50% of 50% of 20%
+ 50% of 50% of
50% of (60% – 20%)
= 0.10

Transmitted: 0% of 20% + 50%
of 50% of 50% of
(60% – 20%) = 0.05

And so on. Consider a
tabulation of these absorption
data, compared with energy
uptake of the unfilled plastic:

Total Layer-by-Layer Absorption

1st 2nd 3rd

Filler
Conc

0 50% 75% 87%
40 60% 85% 95%

It is apparent that the filler
blocks radiation transmission
into the polymer. Therefore, all
things being equal, the sheet
surface should heat at a rate that
increases with increasing filler
concentration. And, because
infrared thermometers measure
sheet surface temperature, filled
polymers appear to heat faster
than unfilled polymers.

But wait. As we saw earlier,
the thermal conductivity of the
filled plastic increases with
increasing filler dosage. This
means that even though the
surface of a filled plastic receives
more energy than that of an
unfilled plastic, the energy is
conducted into the interior of the
plastic at a faster rate.

Conclusion

There are two general aspects
to energy input to filled plastics.
The first is that the energy
needed to raise a filled polymer
to its forming temperature

4th 5th 6th 7th

94% 97% 98% 99%
99% 100%

increases with increasing filler

concentration. The primary

reason is that the plastic density

increases with increasing filler

concentration.

The second is that at the same

energy input rate, filled polymer

surfaces absorb more energy

than unfilled polymer surfaces.

If this were the only effect, we

would see filled polymer

surfaces heating at a more rapid
rate than those of unfilled
polymers. And normally we do.
However, filled polymers have
higher thermal conductivities
than unfilled polymers. This
means that for filled polymers,
the energy near the surface is
conducted to the interior at a
faster rate than that for unfilled
polymers. This is a very
important compensating factor.
On balance, a polymer heats at
about the same rate whether neat
or filled. 

We need your
continued
support and
your efforts on
membership
recruitment!!
These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 18

UNIVERSITY NEWS

Distortion Graphics for Thermoformed Parts –
Elastic Image, A Development of
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Who are we?

We are graphics and plastics professionals backed
by a strong corps of engineers and software
scientists. We have developed an automated digital
solution for distorting graphics for pre-decorating
plastics. We are partnered with Rose-Hulman
Ventures (RHV), a technology incubator arm of
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre
Haute, IN. Together we have developed proprietary
software and hardware to expand capabilities in
the manufacturing of decorated plastic products for
a wide variety of applications. Our partnership with
RHV allows us to accelerate our technical
development through R & D and engineering
initiatives. As a result, EI has established the
benchmark for exceptional quality in pre-decorated
plastics.

What are we selling?

We deliver the ability to advance manufacturing
capabilities for decorating formed plastic products.
We provide the means for manufacturers to
eliminate the risks and design limitations inherent
in the outdated trial-and-error methods for
distorting graphics. EI provides speed-to-market in
both the development and production phases. We
drive value at every touch-point in the cycle from
design concept to final delivery. Designers, tool
makers, plastics companies, graphics producers,
and forming manufacturers are embracing the EI
technology. We enable clients by providing a unique
platform for increased creativity and design
flexibility. We develop new products that deliver
increased value-added. Our technology offers
powerful differentiation opportunities for our
customer’s products and brands.

How was it developed?

The current technology is a proprietary
integrated suite of hardware and software
comprised of machine vision-based data collection
and graphic distortion computation. It is the result
of the marriage of development between two
groups of software scientists and engineers. Each
group tackled part of the challenge. An RHV group
developed the 3D scanning solution that quantifies
material stretch while another developed the
graphics distortion package. These two platform
technologies were brought together initially in 2003.
In parallel with commercial rollout, EI has
continued to improve both platforms and is now
in its fourth phase of development. EI and RHV
continue to commit resources against the ongoing
development and evolution of the technology.

How does it work?

Unlike attempts to develop distortion solutions
through predictive means, the EI solution is based
on capturing the specific surface dynamics of a

(continued on next page)

19
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

plastic part during the forming
process. At the core of it, we
produce distortions based on
scientific measurement. To
achieve the desired end result in
terms of graphic quality and
registration to the form, the EI
technology provides a graphics
file precision-engineered for predecoration
– regardless of the
nature of the thermoform tooling
design, substrate or print process
associated with that particular
part.

The technology is easily
integrated into graphics and
forming manufacturing
environments through a simple
qualification process to ensure
repeatability. Basically, it’s plugn-
play. Numerous thermoforming
manufacturers without
any previous experience with
decorated sheet have easily
applied the EI technology. EI
technology seamlessly integrates
with current and leading-edge
3D design, CAD and graphic
technologies.

What is the difference
from status quo?

The previous state-of-the-art
for distorting graphics was just
that – an art form. It was a
combination of trial-and-error
methods and know-how based
on experience. Designers and
manufacturers worked within
highly restricted design
parameters and with a strong
element of risk and
unpredictability associated with
quality, delivery time, and cost.

EI introduces an automated
digital technology, which
renders previous design limitations
a thing of the past.
Leveraging EI’s technology
opens graphics and tooling
design to a new world of
opportunities. Manufacturers
can stretch the limits for product
design with delivery certainty.
Three-dimensional parts with
world-class graphics are the new
benchmark for decorated
plastics.

These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

ThermoformingQUARTERLY 20PERFORMANCE. INNOVATION. DEPENDABILITY.
Proven Partnership.
Worldwide Benefits.
For the best in trim-in-place and high volume thermo-
forming equipment, parts and service, talk to the
global experts at Lyle and Gabler. Call 989-435-7717
for details, or visit lyleindustries.com.
4144 W. Lyle Road ¦Beaverton, MI 48612www.gabler-maschinenbau.de
Who can benefit from
your technology?

Current clients include
thermoformers, printers, advertising
agencies, merchandisers,
gaming companies, packaging
manufacturers, outdoor advertisers,
promotional companies
and vending manufacturers.
Any groups within the value
chain of all segments of the
decorated plastics industry
benefit from application of the
technology.

Where do you see
Elastic Image in the
future?

Elastic Image proprietary
technology is rapidly emerging
as the world standard platform
for distorting graphics. 

Please contact
Elastic Image, Inc.,
100 S. Campus Drive,
P.O. Box 3799,
Terre Haute, IN 47803,
1-812-244-4000, or visit
our website:

www.elastic-image.com,
for more information.

INDUSTRY PRACTICE

History of Thermoforming – Part III

BY STANLEY R. ROSEN, PLASTIMACH CORPORATION, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Ed. Note: The philosopher Santayana said “Those who cannot
remember the past are destined to repeat it.” Stan Rosen is
undertaking a prodigious project – identifying the pioneers
who laid the foundations of the industry we know so well.
Although shaping of sheet extends back to pre-history – oilheated
and shaped tortoise shell and steam-heated and shaped
wood. In TFQ 24:3, Stan started his history with
developments in the 1930s. We hope you are enjoying the
trip!

Mechanically Forming
Thermoplastics Parts Prior to the
Thermoforming Age – Part One

Commercial thermoforming machinery and forming
technology developed quickly in the U.S. during the
early 1950s. Prior to that date, thermoplastics were most
often formed mechanically using various methods by
firms specializing in providing formed plastic products
to their customers. These mechanical forming
techniques were slow, labor intensive, and did not
always provide reproducible results. Several visionary
companies during this era invested in the design of
thermoforming equipment to suit their own needs.
However these machines were not sold on the open
market. Borkland Laboratories licensed vacuum
forming equipment in the late 1940s. Plax Corp. built
and used automated thermoforming machines in the
1930s and Plaxall Corp. apparently built inline
thermoformers for their own production in the early
1950s. A majority of the plastics fabricators continued
to use mechanical forming techniques until commercial
vacuum forming equipment was first publicly
demonstrated at the National Plastics Exhibition in
March 1952. Within one year, thermoforming activity
expanded explosively as equipment and technical
information became available to industry.

Mechanical forming of thermoplastic sheet borrowed
some of the methods which were in use in the metal
working and paper-box making industries. A metal
deep drawing technique for fabricating a pot or pan
from metal blanks was modified to process celluloid
into seamless transparent packaging from individual
plastic blanks. Paper box manufacturers employed diecutting,
creasing, bending and the cementing of box

corners for their products. Many of these paper box
procedures were suitable for the production of plastic
boxes and lids. Other forming processes modified from
the glass blowing and metal forming industries were
adapted to accommodate the physical properties of
plastics materials.

Celluloid, a combination of cellulose nitrate, camphol
and other chemical additives, was the first commercial
plastic sheet available in 1868. Equipment to fabricate
the sheet used a “blow form process” in which two
heated celluloid sheets were placed between female
molds and when the press was closed the cavity
perimeter edges were trimmed and heat sealed together.
Steam pressure then entered between the sheets to force
the pre-heated plastic into the cavities. (Fig. 1, Fig. 2).

Figure 1. Blow-form press.

Figure 2. Blow-form mold.

(continued on next page)

21
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

This process, which is similar to modern twin sheetforming
or blow molding, was used for production of
double-faced parts such as balls, baby rattles, etc,
starting in the 1890s. The same process could form one
heated sheet into a female cavity producing shallow
formed open-faced parts similar to a blister packaging
component.

The city of Leominster, Massachusetts became the
hub of the celluloid era (1900-1920) manufacturing
activities and it pioneered in all types of plastics
fabrication, especially blow forming. The ancillary
components for manufacturing finished plastics
components such as molds, presses and dies were
manufactured here and sold worldwide. This
pioneering city of the plastics industry is the home of
the National Plastics Center and Museum where early
plastics processing equipment is on display.

Manual deep drawing of thermoplastic sheets is
described in a 1937 patent by William E. Helmstaedter,
of the Celluloid Corp. (later Celanese Corp.) as follows
(Fig. 3):

Figure 3. Manual deep drawing machine. Patent by H. E.
Helmstaeder-1937.

A temperature-controlled “former assembly”
consisting of a male cavity and a hardened cutoff punch
is mounted to the top moving platen. The punch is
located on the back face of the male cavity. The opposite
stationary platen contains a heated die whose interior
edge is rounded slightly to assist plastic flow between
the die opening and onto the moving former. A heavy
hold-down plate (much like a clamp frame), which

applies its weight to prevent the sheet from wrinkling
during forming, allows the plastic flange to slip between
the hold-down plate and the face of the hot die. This
heated flange area provides the necessary additional
material to form the finished part. Blanks thicker than
.015 inch (.38 mm) require preheating in an oven and
then are manually transported quickly to the forming
press. Unlike the thermoforming process, where the
heated sheet thins as it is being formed, deep drawing
“steals” material from the flange as it slides between
the former and the die and produces a fairly uniform
sidewall.

Trimming and heat sealing of the finished drawn part
edge takes place when the punch strikes the top surface
of the die, causing the formed part to be trimmed by a
heat pinch-off action. The more traditional punch and
die design which is in more common usage in the
industry allows the punch to cut through the plastic
and enter the die cavity. Helmstaedter stated in the
patent that a small temperature differential between a
heated traditional punch and die could cause trimming
problems. If the punch is cooler than the die, the tool
clearance will increase and possibly cause a rough
trimmed edge. A punch which is hotter than the die
can reduce the clearance to zero causing a die smashup.
These facts are recognized on modern thermoformers
that form and trim in the same station using a punch
and die, since this type of tooling receives considerable
heat from the hot web. The control system of these
newer machines can shut down the equipment if they
detect an unsafe temperature differential between the
two halves of the tool. 

[To be continued]

References

Automatic Pressure Thermoforming, Plaxall Corp.

L.I.C. N.Y
Modern Plastics Magazine, July 1953.

Inline Roll Fed Thermoformer, C. B. Strauch Patent

#2,229,613 filed 11-22-1938 assigned to Plax Corp.

Hartford, Conn.

Vacuum Forming Machine, G. W. Borkland Patent

#2,347,806 filed 7-8-1947 assigned to Borkland

Laboratories, Marion, Ind.

Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 – Plastics History U.S.A., J. H. Dubois –
1972, pgs. 45 and 347.

Fig. 3 -Manual Deep Drawing of Plastics Packaging,

W. E. Helmstaedter, Patent #2,255,116 filed 1-21-1937
assigned to Celluloid Corp., Newark, N. J.
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 22

Draft Angles

BY JIM THRONE, SHERWOOD TECHNOLOGIES, INC., DUNEDIN, FL

S
S
ome time ago, we discussed
shrinkage and warpage. At
that time, we pointed out that
plastic, like most other materials,
increases in volume when
heated and decreases in volume
when cooled. And we said that
to form the desired shape, the
hot plastic is pushed against a
cool mold surface. It follows that
as the plastic cools, it shrinks.
But the mold doesn’t change in
dimension. If the mold is male
or positive, or if even a portion
of the mold is male or positive,
the plastic will shrink onto the
mold surface. And if the mold is
not properly designed, we will
have a devil of a time getting the
part off it. Thus we face the
subject of draft angles.

Draft Angles – Defined

The best definition of a draft
angle is the angle the mold wall
makes with the vertical. If the
mold wall is vertical, the draft
angle is zero. Recall that most
thermoforming molds are
single-surfaced. That is, the sheet
is pulled into or over a single
mold surface. For draw-down
into a female or negative mold,
the sheet is constrained on its
outer surface by the mold. As a
result, when the sheet cools, it
tends to shrink away from the
mold surface. As a result, it is

1 These parts are sometimes called androgynous,
meaning that they have both
female and male characteristics.

2 Exacerbate: To aggravate.

THERMOFORMING
101
entirely feasible to thermoform
into a female mold having zero
draft angles. Most part designers
prefer a slight draft angle, say 0°
to 2°, “just in case.” The average
is generally 1/2° to 1°
.

On the other hand, when the
sheet is drawn over a male or
positive mold, it is constrained
on its inner surface by the mold.
As a result, when the sheet cools,
it tends to shrink onto the mold
surface. To release the part from
the mold, it is necessary to
provide a draft angle on the
vertical mold surfaces. The
amount of draft depends
strongly on the volumetric
change in the polymer. If the
polymer is amorphous – PS,
PVC, PC – the draft angle may
be no more than 2° to 3°. If the
polymer is crystalline – PE, PE –
the draft angle may be in excess
of 5°. The average is generally 4°
but the designer must be alert to
effects of temperature variation
and recrystallization rates.

A textured surface requires an
increase in draft angle. It is
recommended that the draft
angle be increased at least 1°
for
every 0.2 mils [0.0002 in or 5

microns] in texture depth. Keep
in mind that increasing applied
pressure, sheet temperature, and
mold temperature will result in
greater penetration of the sheet
into the texture.

What About Parts
With Male and Female
Components?

Multiple-compartment trays
and pallets1 can pose series
drafting issues. Consider a
female cavity bordered by two
male segments. The sheet will
attempt to shrink away from the
female mold surface but onto the
male segments. Excessive draft
on the male segments may allow
the sheet to release from the
female mold surface before the
sheet has replicated the mold
surface. On the other hand,
inadequate draft on the male
segments may allow the sheet to
satisfactorily form the female
mold surface, but the sheet may
“lock” onto the male segments.
The problem is exacerbated2
when molding compartment
trays where the male portions are

(continued on next page)

23
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

(continued from previous page)

interrupted. Essentially interrupted
walls in the molded part. In
addition to the shrinkage issues,
interrupted male segments may
also be sources of internal
webbing3.

How Serious is the
Draft Problem?

The draft angle can lead to
serious dimensional changes in the
formed part. Consider a simple
example, a 10-inch male mold. The
vertical wall is 1 inch wide at the
top. Consider a draft angle of 5°
.
The width at the bottom of the
vertical wall is determined as
follows:

The increased width on one side
is 10 x tan 5° = 0.875 in. The total
width at the bottom is then 1 + 2 x

0.875 = 2.75 in.
This is a substantial dimensional
change in the thickness of the
vertical wall.

When is the Draft
Angle Not a Draft
Angle at All?

When it is used for something
else. The classic example is the
drink cup. The sidewalls are
tapered as much as 20° for stacking
purposes, not shrinkage. In multicompartment
parts, care must be
taken in the design to
accommodate both the draft angle
required for shrinkage and the
necessary stacking taper. Stacking
lugs, stand-offs, or rings are often
designed into complex parts,
simply because it is not always
possible to predict the exact local
shrinkage. 

Keywords: draft angle, taper,
shrinkage

3 Webbing will be discussed in a later lesson.

BOOK REVIEW

M. W. Hill, Measuring to Manage:
Using Measurable Data to Get
Maximum Employee Performance,
paperback, 2003, 88 pages,
$16.95 + $3.00 S+H. Order directly
from Michael Hill, P. O. Box 20522,
Indianapolis, IN 46220-9998.
I
I
am always skeptical of the
schemes proposed in the help
guides for managers, dozens of
which are published each year.
Most of these repeat the same or
similar mantra regarding manageremployee
goal setting and review
procedures. I am always reminded
of the Dilbert cartoon where his
pointy-haired boss (aka PHB)
presents Dilbert with a long list of
projects. When Dilbert asks him
which are A priority and which are
B and C priority, PHB tells him that
this is the A list and that he has yet
to make up the B and C list.

Michael Hill is VP of an
industrial distribution center with
five branch locations and over 100
employees. He has been a member
of SPE for more than 20 years and
is past president of the
International Association of Plastics
Distributors. He has an MBA from
St. Bonaventure University. Mr. Hill
has written a modest book with a
very modest goal and has
published it at a very modest price.
According to the introduction, it
“deals with teaching managers to
achieve their goals by using
measurable criteria to evaluate
employee performance.” The book
has 11 chapters – Problems in
Today’s Climate, What a Company
Should Do, Setting Your Evaluation
Goals, Measuring, “Your”
Evaluation, Pre-Review Tips,
Examples, The Actual Review,
Future Encouragement, When All

Else Fails, and Final Word on
Measuring.

In addition to being very
readable, the book contains many
quotable statements. For example:

“A mediocre product … with
good people will easily outperform
a great product marketed by a weak
organization.”

“A goal, by definition, needs to
be measurable …”

“Don’t risk losing your
investment in your employees due
to poor management.”

“Reviews based on measurable
criteria hold no surprises for the
employee …”

“Always be on the lookout for
measurable criteria …”

“… every company wants …
employees [to accept] responsibility
for their actions, and in fact
[to review] themselves.”

Hill argues that performance
review and salary review should be
separate entities. And that
performance review has three
components – management
preparation, human resource input,
and employee preparation. His
mantra can probably be
summarized by this:

“Without a yardstick there is no
measurement. And without
measurement, there is no control.”
Toward this, he outlines a five-step
program for achieving quality
employee reviews.

Hill’s book is a fast read, with his
thesis outlined only after he has
“set the table” by discussing the
failure aspects of other types of
review. The reader should be fully
aware that Hill’s proposed
program needs to be designed by
each manager to meet the needs of
his/her employee team. And that
this design is the sole responsibility
of the manager. Hill’s thesis is
technically viable so long as the
manager-employee structure
remains stable over an extended
period of time.

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 24

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But this reviewer sees three
aspects of the proposal that remain
largely unaddressed. The first deals
with quixotic managers who
consider reorganization as part of
their obligation. Reorganizing
employees and employee
responsibilities on a frequent basis
does not lead to development of
dedicated people. The second deals
with the reality of today’s market.
Very often, companies have
extremely skilled and dedicated
people who are working in areas
being marginalized by shifting
markets. Acquisitions, mergers,
and buyouts enable to company to
rapidly shift to the newly emerging
markets, but unfortunately often
force the company to surplus their
best workers who simply cannot be
retrained fast enough. And the
third deals with rating managers.
Too often, employees have no way
of measuring the effectiveness of
their manager to manage them.
Managers may be oblivious to
mannerisms or actions that, while
“politically correct,” irritate and
annoy their people. This is
particularly true of managers who
manage by the book rather than
lead by example.
So, is this a book that every
manager should read? Sure. It has
far more substance and is much
easier to digest than do some of the
weekly columns in the Wall Street
Journal. But it is this reader’s belief
that good managers should
purchase copies for each of their
employees. The employee would
then be aware of the reasons behind
the five-step criteria being used to
rate him or her. After all, even Hill
says that “[w]hen company
information and company goals are
shared and agreed upon, everyone
wins.”
I rate this modest effort a strong
four-and-a-half books out of five.
~ Jim Throne, Tech Editor

2006 THERMOFORMING CONFERENCE
SEPTEMBER 17-20

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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, USA

DIVISION

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27ThermoformingQUARTERLY

JANUARY IS NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH

What Are You Getting Yourself Into?

ALICE BLANCO, SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR, PLASTICS ENGINEERING MAGAZINE

J
J
anuary is National Mentoring
Month. There are many ways to
become involved with mentoring.
One of the best is for companies to
offer internships to university
students studying for a career in
plastics. Student internships might
help slow the long-term erosion of
the manufacturing sector in the
U.S., and there are many other
benefits as well. What are those
benefits? Ask Joe Peters, president
of Universal Plastics in Holyoke,
Mass. Ask Lucas Stallbaumer, a
student of plastics engineering
technology at Pittsburg State
University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Here is their story.

Lucas Stallbaumer wanted to
know what he was getting himself
into. At the end of his junior year
at Pittsburg State – pursuing a
bachelor ’s degree in plastics
engineering technology, with an
emphasis in manufacturing – Lucas
decided to apply for a summer
internship. He desired “hands-on”
working experience at a plastics
company. Lucas also wanted a
change of scenery: he had never
seen the ocean.

When Bill McConnell of
McConnell Co., Inc., a member of
the Board of Directors of SPE’s
Thermoforming Division and a
member of Pittsburg State
University’s Plastics Advisory
Council, spoke to Lucas and fellow
students enrolled in plastics
technology classes, he provided a
list of companies specializing in
thermoforming that might
welcome student interns. Lucas
emailed all the companies on the

list. He received responses – and
offers of internships – from two.

Lucas accepted the offer from Joe
Peters, president of Universal
Plastics in Holyoke, Mass., and his
summer-of-2005 internship began.
On May 29, Lucas boarded
Southwest Airlines flight 132 K in
Kansas City, bound for Massachusetts.
His mother was not as
excited about the trip as Lucas was.
“My mom cried most of the way to
the airport,” he recalls. Rich and
Sue Peters (Joe’s brother and sisterin-
law) shared their home in
Westfield, Mass., with Lucas for the
summer. “I was welcomed and
treated as part of the family. For this
I am really thankful. It sure beat
staying in a dorm room,” says
Lucas.

At Universal Plastics, Lucas
settled in with his own desk and
computer in the engineering
department. Joe Peters wanted to
make sure that during the summer,
Lucas’s work duties took him into
every area of the shop – from
actually forming some parts to
working with tooling and
secondary operations. “I wanted
him to work with engineers, supervisors,
and line employees,” Joe
says. Lucas was involved in new
and ongoing projects, and was
given a number of tasks, such as
helping to design a package, testing
designs, and sourcing materials
and hardware for products the
company manufactures.

His number-one job, reports
Lucas, was assisting the company’s
forming department by creating
computer spreadsheets that listed
data pertaining to the forming of

parts. The easy accessibility of
Lucas’s electronic data sheets
eliminated the need to shuffle
through piles of unorganized
papers in search of a particular
document (if indeed one was to be
found) and greatly facilitated the
search for information on a
particular part to be set up on a
machine for production. Working
on the spreadsheets familiarized
Lucas with the materials being
used, heating and cooling times,
mold temperatures, forming pressures,
and the PLCs (programmable
logic controllers) of various
machines, he says. Joe reports that
Lucas’s computer skills were highly
valuable to the company: “He was
in demand when others found out
that he was great at designing
forms.”

The most important thing Lucas
learned during his internship: in
the real world of producing parts,
“things can become very frustrating
very fast if things do not go
right, but you have to keep your
cool and get the job accomplished.”
In helping with the thermoforming
of 5-inch polyurethane cones, for
example, Lucas observed that
frequent and capricious changes in
processing parameters (e.g.,
humidity, temperature, material
thickness, and air pressure) make
it challenging to produce consistent
web-free parts that are neither too
thin nor too short, and to produce
them on time. Lucas was also
absorbed in figuring out the
process needed to apply large
printed vinyl stickers to street
signs. The stickers had to be
perfectly centered and straight,

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 28

with no distortions in the print at
all and no air bubbles or water
intrusion, which would void the
manufacturer’s warranty. It was a
hurry-up job to meet the
customer’s demand for a short
turnaround time.

In an academic setting, one might
encounter a difficult problem,
postpone a solution, and return to
deal with it another day. In the
business world, walking away even
temporarily from an unsolved
problem is not an option. An idle
machine shrinks a company’s
profits, and poor-quality parts or
parts delivered late make for
disgruntled customers, who might
take future business elsewhere.
Lucas points out: “So your
company loses money and you
could lose your job.”

Throughout his internship at
Universal Plastics, Lucas says, he
learned lessons he did not expect
to. “I learned the key aspects of
business – from engineering to
sales, research, forming,
machining, quality control, and
shipping. I learned a lot from all the
steps involved in the entire
business.” Lucas also established
business relationships and
friendships with his coworkers that
he thinks will last a lifetime. “I
would suggest more students take
part in an internship before they get
into the workforce, to see what they
are actually getting themselves
into,” he says.

Lucas thinks more companies
should approach local colleges to
seek interns, to train students in
hopes that upon graduation they
will join the staff as permanent
employees. “That way,” he says,
companies “will not have to spend
as much time or money
familiarizing them with procedures,
processes, machines, people,
and other things that make a
company run.”

Joe Peters says, “Unfortunately,
kids today are not being exposed
to manufacturing and engineering

as a career path. They are not aware
of the technology involved and the
many rewards of creating and
manufacturing products. Giving
them an opportunity to spend some
time [in the work environment] is
invaluable in helping them make
their career decisions.” Furthermore,
he adds, in the U.S. the reality
is that we have to do as much as
we can to promote manufacturing,
which is quickly diminishing as an
economic force in our country.
Helping students acquire first-hand
experience is an extremely valuable
tool.

By the way, Lucas did get to see
the ocean – at the Peters family’s
vacation home in Maine. He
walked the beach, dined on lobster,
and sailed on the Atlantic. He
helped hoist the mast and sail the
boat, and even accompanied the
Peters’ son Andrew on a flying
lesson. Andrew’s aerial stunts –
spinning in circles, ascending
straight up, and killing and
recovering the engine – made him
a bit dizzy, Lucas admits, but the
scenery below was beautiful. 

Joe Peters, president of Universal
Plastics, invited Lucas Stallbaumer, a
student of plastics engineering
technology at Pittsburg State
University, Kansas, to spend the
summer as an intern at his company
in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

In Memory
of

R. Lewis
Blanchard
Past Thermoformer
of the Year

I
I
t is with sadness that we announce
the passing of R. Lewis
(Lew) Blanchard. Lew passed away
on December 12th, 2005 at his
home in Lafayette, Indiana.

He began his career in thermoforming
at Dow Chemical in Midland,
where he worked on all
phases of heat fabrication of thermoplastic
materials and PVC formulations.
As a representative of
Dow, he helped start Sweetheart
Plastics’ first thermoforming plant.

While at Dawbarn Brothers in
Waynesboro, VA, he developed the
first process for polypropylene
heavy denier fibers and strapping
and worked on polyethylene fibers.
At Kent Plastic Corp. in
Evansville, his work included developing
sheet extrusion and
thermoforming of refrigerator door
liners as well as thermoformed end
caps for fiber cans, cottage cheese
containers, flower pots and closures
for recloseable cans.

He was inducted in the Plastics
Hall of Fame and was also the 1994
Thermoformer of the Year. Lew
was very active in the Society of
Plastics Engineers, serving as
Chairman of the Thermoforming
Division and a member of their
Board of Directors.

Lew is survived by his wife Pat
and three daughters.

The Society of Plastics Engineers
and the Thermoforming Division
mourns the death of a dear friend
and loyal member of this group. He
will be missed. 

29
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY

THERMOFORMING QUARTERLY INDEX

[The Thermoforming Quarterly was established at the
beginning of 1998 and evolved from Thermoforming,
the newsletter of the Thermoforming Division of SPE.
Volume 17 Number 1 was the first issue of TFQ. Volume
19 Number 1 carried the Index from 17:1 through 18:4.
Volume 21 Number 1 carried the Index from 19:1
through 20:4. Volume 23 Number 1 carried the Index
from 21:1 through 22:4. This issue continues the Index
from 23:1 through 24:4.]

Index of Technical Articles by Issue

TFQ 23:1, 2004

Industry Spotlight: Shepherd Thermoforming and Packaging,
Inc., The Birth of a Custom Thermoforming Operation, pp. 5-8.
The Efficiencies of Infrared Heating Technologies Used in the
Thermoforming Industry, N. Bedard and S. Marchand, pp. 10

15.
The Role of Preheaters in Thin-Gauge Forming, J.L. Throne, pg.
16.
TF 101 – Recrystallization-What Does That Mean?, pp. 18-19.
Book Review – eBay on the Internet, pp. 20-21.
TFQ 23:2, 2004

Optimization of Acrylic-Capped ABS Coextruded Systems For
Sheet Applications, H. R. Banyay and T. Pope, pp. 10-15.
Designing Knife-Like Dies for On-Line Continuous Web
Thermoforming, S. R. Rosen, pp. 16-19.
A Thermoforming Transatlantic Divide?, C. Carlin, pp. 20-21.
TF 101: Alphabet Soup?, pp. 22-24.
Book Review: C. P. MacDermott and A. V. Shenoy, Selecting
Thermoplastics for Engineering Applications, pp. 26-27.

TFQ 23:3, 2004

Optimization of Processing Conditions in Thermoforming, C.M.
Bordonaro, T. L. Virkler, P. A. Galante, B. Pineo, and C. E. Scott,
pp. 8-13.

4th European Thermoforming Conference, March 25-27, 2004 –
Viareggio, Italy, C. Carlin, pp. 14-15.
TF 101: ABCs of Alphabet Soup, pp. 18-19.
Book Review: W. E. Brown, Plastics in Food Packaging:
Properties, Design, and Fabrication, pp. 22-23.

TFQ 23:4, 2004

Interlayer Adhesion of Co-Extruded Sheets Before & After Biaxial
Stretching, H. Zhou, pp. 14-19.
Getting 411 on U. S. Patents, J. K. Grogan, Esq., pp. 20-21.
Understanding & Using Appraisals: Five Ways They Can Be Used
to Maximize Your Assets, D. Kruschke, pp. 22-23.
TF 101: The XYZs of Alphabet Soup, pp. 24-25.
RTP Company Opens New Sheet Extrusion Division, Anon., pg.

27.
Book Review: G. L. Beall and J. L. Throne, Hollow Plastic Parts:
Design and Manufacture, pp. 28-30.
TFQ 24:1, 2005

Spotlight on Industry: Productive Plastics, Lean Manufacturing
at Productive Plastics: A Customer-Driven Approach, G. L. Bose
and J. Zerillo, pp. 8-9.

Neuronal Networks Application for Characterization of Softened
Polymers, F. Erchiqui and A.N. Kandil, pp. 10-15.
University Highlight: Penn College, Industry Support Helps
College Promote Plastics Industry Careers, pg. 16.
Energy Units in Thermoforming, J.L. Throne, pg. 17.
Thermoforming: Growth and Evolution – Part I, J. L. Throne and

P. J. Mooney, pp. 18-20.
TF 101: Why is Part Design Important?, pp. 22-23.
Book Review: Penny Sparke, Ed., The Plastics Age: From Bakelite
to Beanbags and Beyond, pg. 24.
TFQ 24:2, 2005

Automotive Plastic Fuel Tank Systems, K. W. Albaugh, pp. 11

14.
Design Features of a Multi-Cavity Mold Used for High-Cyclic
Thermoforming, S. R. Rosen, pp. 15-18.
Thermoforming: Growth and Evolution – Part II, J. L. Throne
and P. J. Mooney, pp. 19-22.
Irwin Research and Wonderpack’s Joint Venture, Anon., pg. 23.
TF 101: Comparing Concept to Reality, pp. 24-25.
Book Review: D. C. Hylton, Understanding Plastics Testing, pg.

27.
TFQ 24:3, 2005

Enhanced TPO Thermoforming Using High Melt Strength
Polyolefin Elastomers, K. L. Walton, M. K. Laughner, L. J. Effler,
and E. S. Gisler, pp. 10-14.

Collaborative and Methodical Product Development Reduces
Time From Concept to Production, E. Hausserman, pg. 15.
Proper Colleting and Collet Maintenance in CNC Routing of
Plastic, Van Niser, pp. 16-18.
History of Thermoforming – Part I, S. R. Rosen, pp. 19-21.
TF 101: Understanding How a Sheet Stretches, pp. 22-23.
Book Review: G. L. Beall, The Evolution of Plastics in America
(As Seen Through the National Plastics Expositions), pp. 24-25.

TF 24:4, 2005

Investigation of Surface Properties of Pre-Stretching Plugs, D.
Liebing, N. Tessier, T. Bush, and P. Eyerer, pp. 18-22.
New CO2 Laser Cutting Technology, D. Cicchini, pp. 23-24.
History of Thermoforming – Part II, S. R. Rosen, pp. 25-27.
Design of Experiments – An Overview, D. Schoff, pp. 28-31.
University Highlight:University of Wisconsin-Platteville, UW-P
Plastics Processing Technology Center Receives Gift of
Thermoforming Machine From MAAC and Division, pg. 31.
TF 101: The Ubiquitous Draw Ratio, pg. 32.
Book Review: J. L. White and D. D. Choi, Polyolefins: Processing,
Structure Development and Properties, pp. 34-35.

Index of Technical and Industry Practice
Articles by Author

K. W. Albaugh, Automotive Plastic Fuel Tank Systems, TFQ 24:2,
pp. 11-14.
H. R. Banyay and T. Pope, Optimization of Acrylic-Capped ABS
Coextruded Systems For Sheet Applications, TFQ 23:2, pp. 1015.
N. Bedard and S. Marchand, The Efficiencies of Infrared Heating
Technologies Used in the Thermoforming Industry, TFQ 23:1,
pp. 10-15.
Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 30

C.M. Bordonaro, T.L. Virkler, P.A.
Galante, B. Pineo, and C.E. Scott,
Optimization of Processing Conditions in
Thermoforming, TFQ 23:3, pp. 8-13.

T. Bush, see D. Liebing.
C. Carlin, A Thermoforming
Transatlantic Divide?, TFQ 23:2, pp. 2021.
C. Carlin, 4th European Thermoforming
Conference, March 25-27, 2004 –
Viareggio, Italy, TFQ 23:3, pp. 14-15.
D. Cicchini, New CO2 Laser Cutting
Technology, TFQ 24:4, pp. 23-24.
L. J. Effler, see K.L. Walton.
F. Erchiqui and A. N. Kandil, Neuronal
Networks Application for
Characterization of Softened Polymers,
TFQ 24:1, pp. 10-15.

P. Eyerer, see D. Liebing.
P. A. Galante, see C. M. Bordonaro.
E. S. Gisler, see K. L. Walton.
J. K. Grogan, Esq., Getting 411 on U.S.
Patents, TFQ 23:4, pp. 20-21.
E. Hausserman, Collaborative and
Methodical Product Development
Reduces Time From Concept to
Production, TFQ 24:3, pg. 15.
A. N. Kandil, see F. Erchiqui.
D. Kruschke, Understanding & Using
Appraisals: Five Ways They Can Be Used
to Maximize Your Assets, TFQ 23:4, pp.
22-23.
M. K. Laughner, see K. L. Walton.
D. Liebing, N. Tessier, T. Bush, and P.
Eyerer, Investigation of Surface
Properties of Pre-Stretching Plugs, TFQ
24:4, pp. 18-22.
S. Marchand, see N. Bedard.
P. J. Mooney, see J. L. Throne.
B. Pineo, see C. M. Bordonaro.
T. Pope, see H. R. Banyay.
S. R. Rosen, Designing Knife-Like Dies for
On-Line Continuous Web
Thermoforming, TFQ 23:2, pp. 16-19.
S. R. Rosen, Design Features of a Multi-
Cavity Mold Used for High-Cyclic
Thermoforming, TFQ 24:2, pp. 15-18.
S. R. Rosen, History of Thermoforming –
Part I, TFQ 24:3, pp. 19-21.
S. R. Rosen, History of Thermoforming –
Part II, TFQ 24:4, pp. 25-27.
C. E. Scott, see C. M. Bordonaro.
D. Schoff, Design of Experiments – An
Overview, TFQ 24:4, pp. 28-31.
N. Tessier, see D. Liebing.
J. L. Throne, The Role of Preheaters in
Thin-Gauge Forming, TFQ 23:1, pg. 16.
J. L. Throne, Energy Units in
Thermoforming, TFQ 24:1, pg. 17.
J.L. Throne and P.J. Mooney,
Thermoforming: Growth and Evolution
– Part I, TFQ 24:1, pp. 18-20.
J. L. Throne and P. J. Mooney,
Thermoforming: Growth and Evolution –
Part II, TFQ 24:2, pp. 19-22.

Van Niser, Proper Colleting and Collet
Maintenance in CNC Routing of Plastic,
TFQ 24:3, pp. 16-18.

T. L. Virkler, see C. M. Bordonaro.
K. L. Walton, M. K. Laughner, L. J. Effler,
and E. S. Gisler, Enhanced TPO
Thermoforming Using High Melt Strength
Polyolefin Elastomers, TFQ 24:3, pp. 1014.
H. Zhou, Interlayer Adhesion of Co-
Extruded Sheets Before & After Biaxial
Stretching, TFQ 23:4, pp. 14-19.
Index of Continuing Series
Titles

Industry Spotlight

Shepherd Thermoforming and
Packaging, Inc., The Birth of a Custom
Thermoforming Operation, TFQ 23:1, pp.
5-8.
Productive Plastics, Lean Manufacturing
at Productive Plastics: A Customer-
Driven Approach, G. L. Bose and J.
Zerillo, TFQ 24:1, pp. 8-9.

University Spotlight

Penn College, Industry Support Helps
College Promote Plastics Industry
Careers, TFQ 24:1, pg. 16.
University of Wisconsin-Platteville, UW-
P Plastics Processing Technology Center
Receives Gift of Thermoforming Machine
From MAAC and Division, TFQ 24:4, pg.

31.
Thermoforming 101

Recrystallization – What Does That
Mean?, TFQ 23:1, pp. 18-19.
Alphabet Soup?, TFQ 23:2, pp. 22-24.
ABCs of Alphabet Soup, TFQ 23:3, pp.
18-19.

The XYZs of Alphabet Soup, TFQ 23:4,
pp. 24-25.
Why is Part Design Important?, TFQ 24:1,
pp. 22-23.
Comparing Concept to Reality, TFQ 24:2,
pp. 24-25.
Understanding How a Sheet Stretches,
TFQ 24:3, pp. 22-23.
The Ubiquitous Draw Ratio, TFQ 24:4, pg.

32.
Book Review

G. L. Beall and J. L. Throne, Hollow
Plastic Parts: Design and Manufacture,
TFQ 23:4, pp. 28-30.
G. L. Beall, The Evolution of Plastics in
America (As Seen Through the National
Plastics Expositions), TFQ 24:3, pp. 2425.
W. E. Brown, Plastics in Food Packaging:
Properties, Design, and Fabrication, TFQ
23:3, pp. 22-23.
D. D. Choi, see J. L. White.
eBay on the Internet, TFQ 23:1, pp. 2021.
D. C. Hylton, Understanding Plastics
Testing, TFQ 24:2, pg. 27.
C. P. MacDermott and A. V. Shenoy,
Selecting Thermoplastics for Engineering
Applications, TFQ 23:2, pp. 26-27.
A. V. Shenoy, see C. P. MacDermott.
Penny Sparke, Ed., The Plastics Age:
From Bakelite to Beanbags and Beyond,
TFQ 24:1, pg. 24.
J. L.Throne, see G. L. Beall.
J. L. White and D. D. Choi, Polyolefins:
Processing, Structure Development and
Properties, TFQ 24:4, pp. 34-35. 
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31ThermoformingQUARTERLY

“FORMING
EDUCATIONAL
OPPORTUNITIES:
GRANTS AND
SCHOLARSHIPS
OFFERED
BY THE
SOCIETY OF
PLASTICS
ENGINEERS –
THERMOFORMING
DIVISION”

The Thermoforming
Division of SPE has
produced a new sixminute
DVD for educators.

The DVD discusses the 13
matching equipment
grants of up to $10,000
and how to apply for the
grant. The 20
scholarships to college
students are discussed
and information is
provided as how to apply
for a scholarship. The
Thermoforming Division
of SPE has contributed
over $150,000 in
equipment grants and
scholarships as of
this date.

The DVD is free of charge
and available from SPE
through Gail Bristol at
203-740-5447 or Gwen
Mathis, Thermoforming
Division, at 706-235-9298.

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QUARTERLY 32

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Help Sponsor

Thermoforming®

Q U A R T E R L Y

ONE YR. SPONSORSHIPS

**Please note the increase in sponsorship
rates. This is the first increase since the
inception of the Thermoforming Quarterly
in 1981. We appreciate your continued
support of our award winning publication.

Patron – $625

(Includes 2.25″ x 1.25″ notice)

Benefactor – $2,000

(Includes 4.75″ x 3″ notice)

Questions?

Please Contact:

Laura Pichon

Ex-Tech Plastics
815/678-2131 Ext. 624
lpichon@extechplastics.com

We Appreciate Your Support!

From The Editor

Thermoforming Quarterly

welcomes letters from its
readers. All letters are subject
to editing for clarity and space
and must be signed. Send to:
Mail Bag, Thermoforming
Quarterly, P. O. Box 471,
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33
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Thermoformers, have
you discovered a
forming tip that you
are willing to share
with your fellow
formers?
A time saver?
Or a cost saver?
Or something that
will save wear and
tear on your machine?
Or your employees?
Then the

TIPS

column
is for you!

Just send Jim Throne a fax at
727-734-5081, outlining your
tip in less than a couple
hundred words. You can
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35ThermoformingQUARTERLY

YOU ASKED

WE
LISTENED

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the dates of the annual
Thermoforming Conference,
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2006

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McCONNELL CO. …………………….. 34
MODERN MACHINERY ……………. 39
ONSRUD CUTTER …………………… 32
PLASTICS CONCEPTS ………………. 5
PLASTIMACH ………………………….. 35
PORTAGE CASTING & MOLD,

INC……………………………………… 34
PREMIER MATERIAL CONCEPTS. 34
PRIMEX PLASTICS ………………….. 38
PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES .. 38
PRODUCTIVE PLASTICS, INC. …. 34
PRODUCTO CORPORATION ……. 38
PROFILE PLASTICS ………………… 34
PROTHERM ……………………………. 15
RAY PRODUCTS, INC………………. 39
RAYTEK …………………………………. 27
ROBOTIC PRODUCTION

TECHNOLOGY …………………….. 33
RTP ……………………………………….. 35
SELECT PLASTICS………………….. 39
SENCORP ………………………………. 40
SOLAR PRODUCTS ………………… 39
STANDEX ENGRAVING GROUP .. 39
STOPOL INC. ………………………….. 25
TEMPCO ELECTRIC ………………….. 9
THERMWOOD CORP…….Inside Back

Cover
TOOLING TECHNOLOGY, LLC ……. 5
TPS ……………………………………….. 39
ULTRA-METRIC TOOL CO. ……….. 36
WECO PRODUCTS …………………. 15
WELEX, INC. …………………………… 33
XALOY …………………………………… 39
ZED INDUSTRIES ……………………. 38

Thermoforming
QUARTERLY 40

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