Quarterly Mags: 2011 1st

Thermoforming
Quarterly®
FIRST QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 1
Contents
n
Departments
Chairman’s Corner x 2
Thermoforming and

Sustainability x
22-23
University News x
24-26 Front Cover

BondingFundamentals
Page 26
Page 5
n
Features
Industry Practice x
5

Bonding Solutions for Thermoformed Low Surface Energy Plastics

Thermoforming 2.0 x
12

The Importance of Controlling Sheet Thickness Prior to Forming:
A Matter of Quality and Economics

Industry Practice x
16

Performance Products: Bonding LSE Plastics

nIn This Issue
Save the Date – 2011 Conference x15
Council Summary x28-29
Page 28
A JOURNAL PUBLISHED EACH
CALENDAR QUARTER BY THE
THERMOFORMING DIVISION
OF THE SOCIETY OF
PLASTICS ENGINEERS
Editor
Conor Carlin
(617) 771-3321
cpcarlin@gmail.com
Sponsorships
Laura Pichon
(847) 829-8124
Fax (815) 678-4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
(706) 235-9298
Fax (706) 295-4276
gmathis224@aol.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 U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office (Registration no. 2,229,747). x
Thermoforming
Quarterly®
Cover Photo courtesy of
Jose Luis Gutierrez, Getty Images
All Rights Reserved 2011

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 1

meeting held in Marco Island,
Florida in February, we
completed a huge undertaking
that will have a great impact
on how your division will
look and operate. Towards the
end of 2010, the division was
underwriting two applications
for awards through the SPE. One
of these was the Pinnacle Award,
which we won last year. The
second was a Communications
Award. During the application
process for the Communications
Award, we realized that a change
was needed within our board.

A Communications Committee
is perhaps not something you
would think our board would
need to establish, but what we
learned over the past 6 months
is that a sound communication
strategy is critical to our
continued success and
advancement.

will accomplish several
important things for us. For
example, it will provide
structure and discipline for
key areas that cross over all
other committees. This will
ensure that all groups convey
the same message in content,
graphics and format. It also
provides the means for us
to more effectively use our
website that will provide our
members with new and exciting
details in current events, press
releases and a running calendar
of events, just to name a few.
This committee will combine
both the website and marketing
committees at this time and will
directly report to the past chair
within our organization chart.
More importantly, the board will

Thermoforming
Quarterly® Chairman’s Corner
Ken Griep
DC is for
Communication
uring our recent board
A communication committee hard each one of our groups
operate with more efficiency

and provide the membership
with new ways of expanding and
disseminated thermoforming
knowledge.

I would also like to offer an
open invitation to anyone who
might be interested in attending
one of our board meetings. You

will be able to see firsthand how

work and where we explore
ways to enhance our conferences
and promote educational
opportunities for budding young
thermoforming experts. Our next
board meeting will be held May
12-14, 2011 on the campus of
Penn College in Williamsport,
Pennsylvania. This is the same
school that your board has

supported through significant

funding and consulting time
during its development as a
Plastics Center of Excellence.
If you are a machinery builder,
processor or materials provider,
I invite you to join us. Please
feel free to contact me at your
earliest so I can arrange the
necessary details.

Thank you for your continued
support and get the word out –
Do Thermoforming!

If you have any viewpoints or
comments, please feel free to
contact me. I would like to hear
from you!

ken@pcmwi.com

2 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming
Quarterly® New Members
Universal Dynamics, Inc.
Woodbridge, VA
Brentwood Industries,
Reading, PA
Jim Dolan
J&J Performance Powder
Coating
Carlock, IL
Wendell Gabbard
Stone Plastics, Inc.
Cadiz, KY
Richard L. Partlow
Reading, PA
Marty Rodriguez
Printpack, Inc.
Williamsburg, VA
Greg Hart
Global Tool & Automation
Corp.
Laotto, IN
Evan Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc.
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Mark J. Foster
Mangar Industries, Inc.
New Britain, PA
Tara Moening
Cincinnati, OH
Jeremy Schnulle
McHenry, IL
Michael Ravizza
CSU Chico
Violet Stefanovski
Visypak Food Plastics,
Clayton, Victoria,
Eduardo Requena
ACS
Houston, TX
Scott J. LaCourse
Big Rapids, MI
Andreas Seefried
Institute of Polymer
Technology
Erlangen, Germany
Brett K. Braker
Pennsylvania College of
Technology
Williamsport, PA
Dan Birschbach
Bardes Plastics, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI
Kari Malmstrom
Shirlon Plastics, Inc.
Cambridge, ON, Canada
Jeeyoung Choi
Align Technology
San Jose, CA
Bill J. Burke, Jr.
Spring, TX
Tracy C. Wolf
Innovative Plastech, Inc.
Batavia, IL
Kamal Eldin Eisa, Jr.
Octal Petrochemicals
Salalah, Oman
Laurel Graves
INVISTA S.A.R.L.
Spartanburg, SC
Dan W. Leisner
Eberle Manufacturing Co.
Wheeling, IL
John D. Manos
Rochester, NY
Andy Pavlick
Genpak LLC
Hope Hull, AL
Dave Armstrong
Fabri-Kal Corp.
Kalamazoo, MI
Stephen F. Maguire
Tray-Pak Corp.
Reading, PA
Dale A. Hogan
Visy Industries
Campbellfield, Victoria,
Australia
Alan Jordan
CPT
Janesville, WI
Perry Engstrom
Arlington Heights, IL
Tom Douglas
Douglas Fabrication &
Machine, Inc.
Wendell, NC
Sam Woodford
Placon Corp.
Madison, WI
Robert D. Ward
Thule Inc.
Franklin Park, IL
Why Join?
Why Not?
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, and keeps
you connected.
The question really isn’t “why join?”
but …
William Person
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Varawong Tangitvet
vandapac
Chonburi, Thailand
Daniel J. Hribar
Plastic Ingenuity
Cross Plains, WI
Keith D. Smith
Flight Plastics
Wellington, New
Zealand
Suresh Ayyasamy
GDC Inc.
Goshen, IN
Thermoforming
Quarterly® New Members
Universal Dynamics, Inc.
Woodbridge, VA
Brentwood Industries,
Reading, PA
Jim Dolan
J&J Performance Powder
Coating
Carlock, IL
Wendell Gabbard
Stone Plastics, Inc.
Cadiz, KY
Richard L. Partlow
Reading, PA
Marty Rodriguez
Printpack, Inc.
Williamsburg, VA
Greg Hart
Global Tool & Automation
Corp.
Laotto, IN
Evan Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc.
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Mark J. Foster
Mangar Industries, Inc.
New Britain, PA
Tara Moening
Cincinnati, OH
Jeremy Schnulle
McHenry, IL
Michael Ravizza
CSU Chico
Violet Stefanovski
Visypak Food Plastics,
Clayton, Victoria,
Eduardo Requena
ACS
Houston, TX
Scott J. LaCourse
Big Rapids, MI
Andreas Seefried
Institute of Polymer
Technology
Erlangen, Germany
Brett K. Braker
Pennsylvania College of
Technology
Williamsport, PA
Dan Birschbach
Bardes Plastics, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI
Kari Malmstrom
Shirlon Plastics, Inc.
Cambridge, ON, Canada
Jeeyoung Choi
Align Technology
San Jose, CA
Bill J. Burke, Jr.
Spring, TX
Tracy C. Wolf
Innovative Plastech, Inc.
Batavia, IL
Kamal Eldin Eisa, Jr.
Octal Petrochemicals
Salalah, Oman
Laurel Graves
INVISTA S.A.R.L.
Spartanburg, SC
Dan W. Leisner
Eberle Manufacturing Co.
Wheeling, IL
John D. Manos
Rochester, NY
Andy Pavlick
Genpak LLC
Hope Hull, AL
Dave Armstrong
Fabri-Kal Corp.
Kalamazoo, MI
Stephen F. Maguire
Tray-Pak Corp.
Reading, PA
Dale A. Hogan
Visy Industries
Campbellfield, Victoria,
Australia
Alan Jordan
CPT
Janesville, WI
Perry Engstrom
Arlington Heights, IL
Tom Douglas
Douglas Fabrication &
Machine, Inc.
Wendell, NC
Sam Woodford
Placon Corp.
Madison, WI
Robert D. Ward
Thule Inc.
Franklin Park, IL
Why Join?
Why Not?
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, and keeps
you connected.
The question really isn’t “why join?”
but …
William Person
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Varawong Tangitvet
vandapac
Chonburi, Thailand
Daniel J. Hribar
Plastic Ingenuity
Cross Plains, WI
Keith D. Smith
Flight Plastics
Wellington, New
Zealand
Suresh Ayyasamy
GDC Inc.
Goshen, IN
Ted Bickel
amros industries, inc.
Cleveland, OH

Bill Goldfarb

Peter Rye

Inc.

Chico, CA

Australia

Thomas Kivisto
Plas-Labs, Inc.
Lansing, MI

Bradley Lovelady
Formation Plastics, Inc.
Quinter, KS

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 3

PROSPECTIVE
AUTHORS

Thermoforming
Quarterly® is an
“equal opportunity”
publisher!
You will notice that
we have several
departments and
feature articles. If you
have a technical article
or other articles you
would like to submit,
please send to
Conor Carlin, Editor.
Please send in
.doc format.
All graphs and photos
should be of sufficient
size and contrast to
provide a sharp printed
image.

4 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming

Industry Practice

Quarterly®

Bonding Solutions for Thermoformed
Low Surface Energy Plastics

Shari Loushin, Sr. Technical Service Specialist, 3M Industrial Adhesives & Tapes Division,
and Ted Steiner, Corporate Technical Service Scientist, 3M Industrial Adhesives & Tapes
Division

Introduction

When seeking to manufacture a plastic-based part,
there are more options for attaching parts together
than ever before. In the past Low Surface Energy

(LSE) plastics, such as Thermoplastic Polyolefin

(TPO), Polypropylene (PP), and Polyethylenes

(e.g. HDPE) had to be mechanically attached or
solvent welded since true adhesive bonding did
not work well with these materials. Mechanical
attachments (such as clips, screws, etc.) can be used
with virtually any surface but they require additional
steps to mold or create features for the attachment,
can lead to stress concentrations which may result
in plastic cracking and premature failures, and often
result in unsightly surfaces. Solvent welding has the
disadvantage of relying on the use of hazardous and
noxious solvents.
In the past decade, new adhesives and bonding tapes
have been formulated which allow robust bonding
of many of these low surface energy plastics.
This allows manufacturers to take advantage of

the benefits of using adhesives and bonding tapes
including design flexibility, stress distribution, bond

dissimilar materials, use lighter/thinner materials as

well as clean final bond appearance.

Bonding Fundamentals –
Why LSE Surfaces are Hard
to Bond

Adhesive bonding of metals, paints and plastics has
been common for many years with a wide variety of

adhesive technologies available, including structural
adhesives (epoxy, acrylic, urethane), non-structural
adhesives (hot melt, contact adhesives) and pressure
sensitive adhesives (peel and stick bonding tapes).
But until recently these adhesives were not used on
tougher-to-bond thermoplastic materials including
TPO, polypropylene and polyethylene because of
their surface characteristics.

For an adhesive to be useful it must achieve
adhesion to the substrate surface. Adhesion depends
largely upon surface phenomena – the adhesive

must flow out on and appropriately interact with

the surface of the parts to be joined. The adhesive
must be able to make intimate contact with the
surface of the substrate. Such intimate contact
is called “wetting out” the surface, and refers to
the adhesive’s ability to spread over the surface.
While adhesives use different mechanisms to

flow and achieve contact – structural adhesives

are low viscosity liquids before curing, hot melt

adhesives are heated to a flowable viscosity at

application, and pressure sensitive adhesives make

use of their unique viscoelastic nature to flow –

in all cases the ability of the adhesive to wet the
surface is important. In addition to the chemical
make-up of the surface, the texture, porosity, and
any contamination or barriers that coat the surface
of the substrate (such as mold release agents,
process additives which bloom to the surface,
or contaminants from handling) can affect the

adhesives ability to flow and achieve intimate

contact.

Even if cleaned of such barriers and contaminants,
some surfaces such as TPO, PP and PE may resist

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 5

being wetted by an adhesive. This is because
of a phenomenon referred to as surface energy.
Surface energy is the excess energy that exists
at the surface (as opposed to the bulk) of a solid.
This excess energy exists because molecules at the
surface cannot interact with as many like neighbors
as molecules in the bulk are able to do. Therefore,
they have excess interaction energy.

The surface energy of a solid varies with its
chemical make-up as shown in the table below.
Note that metals and glass have a high surface
energy and are easier to bond whereas plastics have
a lower surface energy and are harder to bond.
Hardest of all are the low surface energy plastics in

the first several rows of the table.

Surface energies of common substances.

Table adapted from: Adhesion and Adhesives: Science and
Technology; Anthony J. Kinloch, New York: Chapman and Hall (1987).

A related concept is the surface energy (or surface
tension) of a liquid, which is the amount of excess
energy at the surface of the liquid. Surface tension
exists because molecules in the bulk liquid are in
a lower energy state than at the surface. When a
liquid is placed on a solid surface what happens
depends on the relative surface energy of the
liquid compared to the surface energy of the
solid. If the liquid has a higher surface energy
than the attractive forces between the liquid and

the solid surface, the liquid will prefer to maintain
its spherical form. Raindrops bead up on a freshly
waxed car because the surface energy of the water is
higher than that of the wax. When this phenomenon
happens between an adhesive and a substrate the
adhesive will not spread and make intimate contact
with the surface to be bonded; rather, the liquid
molecules will tend to remain associated with
themselves rather than the surface. The result is
lower bond strengths. In contrast, if the surface
energy of the adhesive is less than that of the
substrate the adhesive will spread out and wet the
substrate thus making the intimate contact necessary
for good bonding.

Therefore, high surface energy (HSE) materials such
as metals and glasses can be readily bonded with a
variety of adhesives which will be strongly attracted
to the solid. Medium surface energy (MSE) materials
such as Polyester and PVC can be bonded with many
adhesives, but low surface energy (LSE) materials

are very difficult to bond. “Wet-out” becomes a
challenge unless the surface is modified, since the
unmodified surface has such a low surface energy.

The surface energy of the liquid adhesive is likely to
be higher than the surface energy of the solid.

While some adhesives are available to bond
LSE materials, another strategy is to use surface

modification techniques which can change the

chemical composition of the surface to increase
the surface energy and allow a broader number of
adhesives to be considered. These techniques include

(continued on next page)

Solid surface has high surface
energy. Liquid will spread or
“wet out” the surface.

Solid has low surface energy;
adhesive will “bead” on the
surface.

6 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

flame, corona or plasma treatment, acid etching or

use of solvent based adhesion promoters that contain
higher surface energy resins which entangle with
the low surface energy substrate when the solvent

swells the surface. Once the surface is modified it
is easier for the adhesive to flow out on or wet the

treated surface and make a suitable bond. While

surface modification might be needed in some

cases, typically it will add cost, complexity and may
present environmental or safety issues.

Increase in surface energy of Polyethylene after several common
surface treatment methods.

Chart adapted from: Rauhut, H.W. Adhesives Age 13(1), p. 34 (1970).

New Methods for Bonding
LSE Plastics

Technology has advanced to the point where
adhesives are available that are capable of high
performance bonding to LSE substrates such as
TPO, PP and PE without surface treatment. Easy
to use adhesion promoters are also available as
a companion to some adhesive product types to
increase the strength and broaden the selection.

Structural Adhesives

3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Plastic Adhesives DP8005
and DP8010 are uniquely formulated to bond
to LSE plastics (as well as high surface energy
plastics and metals). These are two-part, solventfree,
room temperature curing adhesives that
come in convenient duo-pak format or, for large

applications, in bulk. They resist many chemicals,
water, humidity and corrosion. Generally surface
preparation is limited to solvent cleaning (to
remove surface contaminants). Sometimes, light

abrasion or a matte finish on the bonded surfaces

can increase bond strengths.

DP8005 in a Duo-Pak cartridge with disposable static mix
nozzle being applied to a plastic part.

Adhesion strength of structural adhesives such
as DP8005 and DP8010 is usually characterized
using an overlap shear test. Substrates are bonded
together with a controlled overlap and the adhesive
is allowed to cure. After cure the adhesive bond is
pulled in the shear mode at a constant rate and the
peak force to break is measured. By convention
an adhesive is considered structural if it is capable
of achieving greater than 1000 psi break strength
in the overlap shear test. To achieve this level
of break strength the adhesive must have high
adhesion strength to the substrates.

DP8005 and DP8010 create structural (greater
than 1000 psi overlap shear) bonds to low surface
energy plastics without pre-treatment. Below are
some representative overlap shear bond strength
data for DP8005 and DP8010 on common plastic
substrates including LSE plastics. Note that with
several substrates tested the substrate itself was
not strong enough to support the 1000 psi load and
the substrate failed before the adhesive to substrate
bond did.

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 7

SF: Substrate Failure; CF: Cohesive failure; AF: Adhesive
Failure

Bonding strength of DP8005 and DP8010 on some common
plastics.

Bonding strength of DP8005 and DP8010 on HDPE after
various environmental challenge conditions.

Because of its high bond strengths to untreated

polyolefins, ease of use (in Duo-Pak cartridges with

static mix nozzles) and favorable environmental
characteristics, DP8005 and DP8010 have met
great success in bonding low surface energy
plastics in a variety of applications. Typical
applications include bonding of molded or
thermoformed parts for interior and exterior fascia,
liquid containers, decorative panels, and appliance
and sporting goods trim and accessories, and
protective equipment, and electronic components
wire potting and housings.

Hot Melt Adhesives

Hot melt adhesives may also be used to bond
lightweight thermoplastic pieces. These adhesives
have the advantage of providing quick tack and
handling strength, thus speeding production.
These adhesives combine high heat resistance
with relatively high strength and low creep. These

products can provide benefits to manufacturers

who can trade off heavy duty bonding for faster
production speed in applications such as POP
displays; sample boards and tabletop displays;
exhibitor booths; foam inserts to carrying cases;
fabric or paneling to foam; and molded reinforced
plastic to fabric or fascia for furniture and
automotive interiors.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Pressure sensitive adhesives are unique in that they
do not cure or undergo a chemical change when
applied. Pressure sensitive adhesives are viscoelastic

materials that exhibit both viscous (flow) and elastic

(resistance) properties at the same time. When the
adhesive is put on the substrate typically in tape
form and pressure is applied the adhesive makes
immediate contact for initial adhesion but continues

to flow onto the surface to achieve increased contact

and a higher level of strength over time.

One advantage of pressure sensitive bonding tapes
is that the bond is immediate so there is no clamp
or cure time. They are also unique in that you do
not have to bond the adhesive to both substrates
at the same time. The tape can be applied to the

first substrate one day and to the second substrate

the same day, the next day, or weeks later. This

brings added convenience and can be a benefit

for many applications including assembly line
processes. In particular, acrylic pressure-sensitive
adhesives provide the best balance of adhesion and
performance properties for many applications, but
generally do not bond to LSE plastics.

(continued on next page)

8 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Relatively new acrylic PSA technology now bonds
to a wide variety of LSE plastics while maintaining
excellent high-temperature and chemical resistance
and high-peel strength. This technology is available
as an adhesive transfer tape and as a double-coated
tape. It works in light to medium-weight bonding
applications such as bonding nameplates to LSE
plastic parts or bonding carpet onto polypropylene
door panels.

Very high strength bonding tapes are available and
are used for a variety of applications previously
reserved for mechanical fasteners or structural
adhesives. These tapes are acrylic foam construction
and have viscoelastic characteristics throughout the
product. The foam absorbs energy to provide high
strength and relaxes stress to protect the bond. The

tape allows, rather than fights, movement between

parts. A high level of tape to substrate adhesion is
required for the foam to allow relative movement of
the parts without coming de-bonded at the tape to
substrate interface.

While some tapes are available for lightweight
bonding on some LSE plastics, generally the acrylic
foam tapes do not have high enough adhesion
strength to LSE plastics without additional surface

modification. Easy to use brush on primer is

available to give very high tape to substrate adhesion
on some LSE plastics.

Strength of pressure sensitive bonding tapes is
typically characterized using a peel adhesion test.
Shown below is 90 degree peel adhesion data for
3MTM VHBTM 4952 tape on four grades of TPO
with different surface preparation techniques.
Although required bond strength varies by
application typically an adhesion level of 20 lb./
inch or greater in this test is desired for most
general applications.

High strength bonding tapes are typically used for
bonding panels to frames, bonding stiffeners to
panels, and bonding decorative overlays, scuff and
rub strips. (See chart below.)

Summary

New tape and adhesive technologies that bond

to LSE plastics offer increased efficiency,
reduced costs, and improved design flexibility

when using these versatile and popular plastics
for manufacturing a variety of products. The
use of these materials enables the use of lower
cost and thinner plastics. It also allows for
joining dissimilar substrates. Examples include
bonding thermoformed bumpers to metal; vehicle
seats, toppers and accessories; binning strips,
architectural panels; plastic lumber; signage;
transport cases; protective armament, and many
others. x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 9

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.

Within this past year alone, our
organization has awarded multiple
scholarships! Get involved and take
advantage of available support from
your plastic industry!

Here is a partial list of schools
and colleges whose students have
benefited from the Thermoforming
Division Scholarship Program:

• UMASS Lowell
• San Jose State
• Pittsburg State
• Penn State Erie
• University of Wisconsin
• Michigan State
• Ferris State
• Madison Technical College
• Clemson University
• Illinois State
• Penn College
Start by completing the application
forms at www.thermoformingdivision.
com or at www.4spe.com. x

REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!

10 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 11

Thermoforming

Thermoforming 2.0

Quarterly®

The Importance of Controlling
Sheet Thickness Prior to Forming

A matter of quality and economics

by Arthur Buckel, McConnell Co.

T
T
he importance of prethinning
for uniform
wall thickness and preshaping
the hot sheet before
forming is something
many thermoformers
understand. However, they
do not appreciate how many
advantages can be gained if
the process is done properly
and completely. Where do
we begin to discuss such an
important subject? Let us
start at the beginning with the
customer’s design, drawings
and software.

The end customer will often
include in the title block

information, or specifications,

their requirement for
the material they need,
including starting sheet
thickness. This is the worst
possible thing they can do
because one thermoformer,
using the indicated material,
will form a part with quite
variable thicknesses across
the part while another

will obtain a part with very
reasonable uniform thickness.
The difference, of course, is
the variation in machinery,
tooling, and techniques used,
and/or a large difference in
experience and knowledge
between the two companies.
Each processor can give the
customer what they asked for –
the starting sheet thickness as
stated on the drawings – though

the less-qualified former will

deliver a suboptimal part due
to thinning, which fails to
meet the requirements for part
performance. On the other hand,
a modern, experienced, quality
operation will deliver a part with
minimum thickness that exceeds
the customer’s need. The part
designer should instead indicate
the minimum thickness required

at specific areas of the part and

let the manufacturer decide the
starting thickness of sheet.

In this article, I am going to
look at some thermoforming
problems created in part design,
how they were solved and how
they saved the customer money

while increasing margins for the
processors.

Identifying
and Classifying
Problems

A major problem for formers
of refrigerator liners and other
similar shaped parts is the
formed grooves in the sides and
tops of the molds that create the

shelf supports inside the finished
part. As the material flows over
the mold, it first touches the

sides and top surfaces of the
mold and begins to cool. This
increases the hot strength of the
material causing it to stretch less

and thin more as it flows into the

three sides of the recesses. The
worst part is where the bottom
of the recess meets the platen
and now the material must
thin even more to cover four
surfaces.

The solution is to pre-shape the

hot sheet into this configuration

before allowing the sheet to be
formed onto the mold. In this

(continued on next page)

12 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

way we are using hot sheet
with less hot strength to cover
the area, thus yielding a thicker

finish in the part.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s,
thermoformers were advised to
not stretch the hot sheet over
an area greater than 3 times the
sheet area. This was due to a
lack of ability of the hot sheet to
stretch beyond this ratio. Over
the last 30 years, new additives
that were not previously
available have become standard
in most thermoformable sheet
that allow for greater elongation,
hot strength, and impact
strength. Today it is not unusual
to stretch the hot sheet to 6 or
7 times its starting area. Also,
with additional butadiene rubber
in the styrene and ABS groups,
you will retain higher impact
strengths when the additional
stretching is needed.

With this information in mind,
you can now build the pre-draw
box just 1/4 to 3/8 inch higher
than the mold and pre-draw the
hot sheet all the way up into
the pre-stretch box until it hits
the top of the box and forms
over the inserts. This will give a
rectangle shape to the hot sheet
more comparable to the shape
of the mold and will have preformed
the areas in the slots
on the mold, leaving greater
thickness. Without the use of
a pre-draw box or if the pre

draw of the hot sheet is only
40-50% of the mold height, the
mold will impact the sheet too
soon. The material will begin to
chill and will be thicker on the
top, leaving chill marks on the
upper sides while stretching the
sheet down the sides which will
become too thin in many areas.

The theory of a platen size of the
area of the mold plus a margin
of 40 to 50% of the mold height,
all around, is not as functional
as a smaller platen, and a thicker
sheet; using a pre-draw box. A
margin of 2 to 4 inches around
the mold, depending on the mold
height, is preferred.

To prevent webbing at the
corners of the mold, it is
recommended that a chamber
be added in each corner of the
pre-draw box. This will cause
the hot sheet to spread along the
sides during pre-form and be
pulled out of the sharp corners
of the box.

For any application, the predraw
box should have large
windows on the front and the
rear sides. They both will allow
light to enter the box and the
front will allow a good view of
the hot sheet pulling into the
box, allowing the processor to
monitor the process.

Controlling
Vacuum

There is always the question
of controlling the vacuum that
allows the sheet to be pushed
into the pre-draw box to just
the right height. The best and
most consistent way is to drill
a series of small holes (.040”
diameter) in the sides and top
of the box which will reduce
the full vacuum resistance in
the box. Set the box up in the
machine with a full vacuum,
and using a properly heated
sheet, test the depth of the predraw
bubble. If it draws too
far, drill a few more holes, and
try another hot sheet until it is
correct. If the sheet does not
draw far enough, cover some
of the holes with masking
tape, and try again. When it

is just right, fill the covered

holes with silicone sealer for
a permanent seal. Each time
you set up the mold and predraw
box, and properly heat
the sheet, you will have the
correct setting for the vacuum
required to draw the proper
bubble every time without
changing the vacuum setting.

Addressing
Design
Challenges

Another problem found in
design is a part with a deep

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 13

and/or irregular cavity or
cavities in the top of the part.
Build a plug or plugs close
to the size and shape of the
cavity or cavities and insert it
or them in the proper position
in the pre-draw box.

When you pre-draw the hot
sheet into the box to its full
depth over and around the
plugs, then move the mold
into the box and draw the
vacuum, the cavity or cavities
will be formed with maximum
possible thickness of material.

When facing the problems of
part design of varying heights
and irregularities of shape,

it is important to use profile

heating to create areas of
higher and lower temperature
in the sheet at time of forming.
Create hotter areas where you
need greater stretching and
cooler areas where you need
less.

Combine this heating
technique with dividing walls
within the pre-draw box
to create a hot sheet shape
comparable to the mold

configuration before forming.

To help maintain the material
texture, cover the plugs, walls,

and pre-draw box inner top with
felt cloth or felt rubber sheeting.
These materials will cushion the
texture, and draw very little heat
from the sheet before you pull
the vacuum and form the part.

Using variations of these
forming techniques should help
any thermoformer to compete
for almost all business that
comes their way.

Remember, being competitive
is not just meeting the other
bidder’s price!!

Being truly competitive is
meeting the price while being
productive enough to build
quality parts and retain a fair

profit. x

TQ

14 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming

Industry Practice

Quarterly®

Performance Products:
Bonding LSE Plastics

Michael Merwin, Market Development Specialist, FlexCON, Spencer, MA

Abstract

When working with low-surface-energy materials,
it is important to match the durability of the
manufactured material with an adhesive that can

meet the demanding requirements of the finished

product. One of the biggest challenges in bonding

to low-surface-energy plastics, specifically
thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO), is that in most

cases they have traditionally required a pretreatment
for permanent adhesion.

What is Surface Energy?

In liquids, the molecular layer at the boundary
where the surface of one material meets a second
material (such as liquid to solid or liquid to air) is
different than the constituent molecules beneath
the surface. This difference is the result of an
imbalance between the intermolecular forces.
Example: a molecule of water beneath the surface
is surrounded by other water molecules in the X,
Y, and Z directions. The molecule of water at the
very surface has no water on top. This imbalance
causes the top water molecules to pull closer
together (laterally). This phenomenon is referred to
as “surface tension.” Surface tension plays a role
in water beading up on a freshly waxed car, water
bugs walking on water, and people water-skiing.

A similar effect occurs in solids, but is often

referred to as “specific surface energy” and is

usually measured as a distortion of a drop of a
liquid on the test surface of the solid in the form of

a “contact angle” (see Figure 1). For a given liquid
with its own surface tension properties, the lower the

contact angles, the higher the specific surface energy

of the solid material. Conversely, the higher the

contact angle, the lower the specific surface energy

of the solid material. Pressure-sensitive adhesives
are viscoelastic in nature. As such, their degree of

surface contact will depend on the specific surface

energy of the substrate to which the adhesive is
being applied.

Figure 1.

A demonstration of this principle is the ease of
removal of the protective liner from a bumper
sticker or band-aid. The liners are often siliconecoated.
Silicones have very low surface energies,
in the 22-24 dynes/centimeter (common units of
surface energy) range, compared with most PSAs,

(continued on page 18)

16 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 17

(continued from page 16)

which are between 30 and 36 dynes/cm. The

silicone-coated liner presents a difficult surface

for the PSA (a viscoelastic liquid) to make surface
contact (or “wet-out”). This results in low adhesion
to the liner – so low that these protective liners
are often referred to as “release liners.” Figure

2 illustrates the “Specific Surface Energies” of

some common materials. Materials such as the

fluorocarbons and silicone, normally thought of as
“non-stick” surfaces, have very low specific surface
energies and so are difficult to adhere to. TPO falls

in the category of low surface energy. Materials
such as copper, aluminum, and tin, which have high

specific surface energies, are generally known to be

easy to adhere to.

Adhesives for Adhering to
LSE Surfaces

High-performance adhesives have become an
increasingly important pressure-sensitive bonding
solution, responding to market trends that not
only include increased use of low-surface-energy
plastics, but also:

•
Harsher end-use application environments
•
Unusual product shapes that require adhesion to
curved surfaces
Traditional solutions offered for applying adhesives

to TPO included abrading, priming or flame treating.

These processes are time consuming and can damage
the surface of the plastic. Abrading the surface can
require an increase in the thickness of the adhesive.
This is necessary in order to get the product to
“wet out” into the plastic. The increase in thickness
increases the cost of the adhesive and also increases
the amount of attention that must be paid to the

pressure of application. Priming and flame treating

are also intended to “damage” the surface in an effort
to raise the level of surface energy. These processes
also change the appearance of the TPO area. (See
chart below.)

Adhesives designed for use with TPO allow the
processor to avoid interim steps. They are required
only to wash the area with an IPA/water (50/50 mix)
to remove dirt or mold releases. Adhesive designed
for TPO can increase the adhesion of the product

significantly.

High-performance adhesives are an effective
solution where a general purpose, removable, or
aggressive adhesive cannot quite meet the demands

Figure 2.

(continued on next page)

18 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

of the application. High-performance adhesive

provides performance for a specific function or
in a specific environment. It is not necessarily a

high performer in all situations. There are high

performing adhesives specifically designed to

withstand the service temperature extremes of
automotive or electronic components. That same
adhesive may not provide high performance in
resisting the effects of, for example, long-term UV
exposure or chemicals. It is important for the user
to ask a series of questions about the product on
which the adhesive will be used, the industry it will
service, product performance expectations, surfaces
receiving adhesives, the size, texture, and shape of
the application surface. Other questions can include
environmental concerns, temperatures, type of
processing equipment, and processing parameters of
the customer’s equipment.

PSA Selection and the Ins
and Outs of Shear, Tack and
Peel

To put the benefits of adhesives to work means

a complete understanding of the product design,
its intended use and the substrates earmarked for
adhesion.

Considerations include the role of key physical
adhesive properties – shear, tack and peel – when
deciding on the best adhesive system. Within the
realm of PSAs, there are four main polymer families:
acrylic, emulsion, rubber, and silicone. Each offers
particular characteristics for particular applications.

In most cases, acrylic adhesives provide the widest
range of performance characteristics, with an
operating range of -40°F to more than 450°F.

Any one of the aforementioned adhesive types can
be customized to meet virtually any adhesion need.

Shear adhesion is the force required to move a PSA

from a standard flat surface in a direction parallel
to the surface to which it has been affixed with a
definite pressure. It is measured in terms of the

force required to pull a standard adhesive from a
test panel under a standard load. Usually, tack and
adhesion performance decrease as shear strength
increases.

The ASTM D 3654 Method A (1 hr. dwell, 1 sq. in,
4 lb. load) indicates that low shear is less than 10
hours, while medium shear is 10 to less than 100
hours. High shear is determined by measurements
of more than 100 hours.

Tack is a measure of the force required to remove,
say, a foam gasket and its adhesive from the
substrate. It usually refers to the measure of
initial attraction of the adhesive to the substrate.
The degree of tack is a function of adhesive
components. It can be and is controlled by
manufacturers to create different products based
upon end user requirements.

According to the ASTM D 2979 standard, very
low tack ranges from 0 to 100 grams per square
centimeter (g/sq.cm), while low tack is up to 400
per g/sq.cm. Medium- to medium-high tack ranges
from 401 to 700 g/sq.cm, while high to very high
tack ranges from 701 to more than 801 g/sq.cm.

High tack is equally important with the use of
low-surface energy plastics and metal among
OEM design and production engineers for a host
of products, ranging from automobile components
to durable medical devices to sound-damping
materials.

Peel is the measure of bond strength between an
adhesive and a substrate. The degree of adhesion
can be and is controlled by manufacturers to
create different products based upon end user

(continued on next page)

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 19

requirements. Adhesion will
continue to increase for a period
of time from the moment of
application, typically 24 hours.

Peel readings are generally
taken at angles of 90° and
180°. Used to measure the
force required to overcome an
adhesive bond, the peel test

is heavily influenced by the

targeted surfaces for adhesion.

In films, for instance, both

caliper and tensile strength will
have an impact on the measured
adhesion. A peel measurement
allows application designers to
determine whether an adhesive
will be able to resist an
anticipated force that may work
against the adhesive bond.

According to the ASTM D

903 standard (modified for 72

hour dwell time), very low to
low peel is 0 to 34 ounces per
inch (oz./in.), while medium to
medium-high peel is 35 to 74
oz./in. High to very high peel is
75 to more than 95 oz./in.

Applications

Minimum and maximum
tolerances will ultimately
determine the right PSA for a
given application, which can

vary from efficient and cost

effective assembly assist to

intricate and fortified disk drive

construction to automobile
and aerospace components.
In fact, in many cases, the

use of an adhesive over more

practical, cost-effective and yield

traditional bonding and mounting

a better product. x

technologies can be more

REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!
REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE!
20 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

2011
EDITORIAL
CALENDAR

Quarterly Deadlines for
Copy and Sponsorships

ALL FINAL COPY FOR
EDITORIAL APPROVAL

15-FEB Spring 30-APR Summer
31-JUL Fall 15-NOV Winter
Conference Edition Post-Conference Edition

All artwork to be sent in .eps
or .jpg format with minimum
300dpi resolution.

Become a
Thermoforming
Quarterly Sponsor
in 2011!

Additional sponsorship
opportunities will include
4-color, full page, and
1/2 page.

RESERVE YOUR PRIME
SPONSORSHIP
SPACE TODAY.

Questions? Call or email
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
847-829-8124
Lpichon@extechplastics.com

BOOK SPACE
IN 2011!

SAVE THE DATE!
October 16 thru October 19, 2011
Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 21

Thermoforming
Quarterly®

The End of Life of
Bioplastics

Gaelle Janssens, Environmental Affairs Manager,
PRO Europe, and Attilio Caligiani, Consultant, Weber
Shandwich (Brussels, Belgium)

About Bioplastics

PRO EUROPE (Packaging
Recovery Organization
Europe), the umbrella
organization for the packaging
and packaging waste recovery
schemes which mainly use
the Green Dot trademark,
is convinced that waste and
resource management is at the
forefront of a new economy.
This economy is being called
upon to answer increasingly
wide-spread environmental
issues, notably those driven
by mainstream concerns
over climate change, and the
financial crisis.

A few years ago the general

opinion about bio-packaging
would have meant speaking
in terms of biodegradable
packaging. Nowadays, the
evolution of packaging sees
a more focused view on the
renewability of resource rather
than just on biodegradability.
So composting of
biopackaging is far from
being the only possibility

for end-of-life. Many

different ends-of-life exist for
biopackaging. The choice of
a particular option depends

Thermoforming and Sustainability

on the collection and treatment
infrastructure available.

Just because many types of

biopackaging are compostable, it
does not mean that composting
is the best option from an
environmental, logistic, or
economic perspective. Based
on environmental study, it is the
opinion of PRO EUROPE that
bioplastic recovery is better than
composting.

End of Life of
Bioplastics

Depending on the country,
if the bioplastic products
comply with the sorting
instructions, bioplastics are
selectively collected according
to type. The possible endof-
life options are recycling,
incineration, composting or
landfill. Recycling is possible
with traditional polymers made
from renewable resources,

e.g. bio PET, bio PE, etc. For
other innovative polymers
the prerequisites are adapted
sorting equipment, good
quantities of high quality
homogenous material, an
existing and sustainable
recycling infrastructure, and
end-user outlets. It should
be mentioned that blended
materials cannot be optically
sorted and some polymers might
bring a risk of contamination
of recycling processes (e.g.

if PLA enters the process of

recycling PET. Both materials
have a similar appearance
and automatic sorting as
used to sort PP or PVC from
a PET recycling stream is
not currently installed at all

recycling facilities). Another

possible end-of-life option is
gasification or incineration
with energy recovery – for
the environment, a better
solution than composting. Note
that incineration with energy
recovery is already used in some
countries as a way of treating
residuals after sorting. The
third end-of-life option in this
scenario is organic recycling or
composting, a possible solution
whenever the packaging is
mixed with organic waste (e.g.
food waste, kitchen waste, yard
waste, etc.) in proper recovery
infrastructure. The last end-oflife
solution is landfill, which is
the least preferable solution.

If bioplastics are thrown into
the residual waste bin, they
will end their life in landfill
(worst option) or be incinerated
to provide energy recovery.

From the authors’ point of

view, incineration is a better
environmental option than
industrial composting. It is
already used in some countries
to treat the residual waste.
Only a small minority of citizens
have access to organic waste

(continued on next page)

22 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

collection. For this scenario, the

authors think that composting is
not as good for the environment
as energy recovery (gasification

or incineration). Moreover,

new collection and treatment
infrastructure is needed to

handle organic packaging. A

test shows that the quality of
the compost (and its end value
to the market) would go down
because of sorting mistakes
made by consumers. There are
also implied additional costs in
adapting existing infrastructure
and to manage residual waste.

The Sustainability of
Bioplastics

As previously mentioned

and based on environmental
study, the authors think
that bioplastic recovery is
better than composting.
But even if bioplastics are
frequently described as being
environmentally superior to
traditional plastics, the authors
do not agree that this is always

the case. As said before, being

biodegradable or biomass-based
doesn’t automatically mean
being ecologically friendly
or sustainable. This must be
verified on a case-by-case
approach.

When considering the problem
of litter, we can say that
biodegradability does not
necessarily resolve this issue.

Litter must be dealt with at the

source; it is a social problem.
Biological degradation can

mitigate the problem, but
without specific and necessary
conditions (micro-organisms,
temperature and humidity) it
can be very slow.

Furthermore, bioplastics could

theoretically add to the problem
of litter if supported by a belief
that they all just “break down
and disappear” after disposal.

For this reason, we must take

care to educate the consumer
properly.

It often happens that consumers
are confused by all the
different labels printed on bags,
boxes and bottles describing
packaging as “biodegradable”
or “home compostable” or
even “biopackaging.” Even
if consumers react very
favorably to these ideas, most
do not associate them with the
required actions. There is a
need to regulate and provide
clear communication on both
labels and in the instructions for
sorting plastics.

Other important factors are
education and instruction.

Material producers, converters

and retailers that use these new
materials have a responsibility
and a duty to introduce them in
a conscientious and regulated
manner, so that previous
education programs aimed at
promoting recycling and the
prevention of waste are not
diminished. x

Reprinted with permission from
“Bioplastics Magazine.”

Visit Our
Website at:
www.thermoformingdivision.com
Our mission is
to facilitate the
advancement of
thermoforming
technologies
through
education,
application,
promotion and
research.
SPE National
Executive Director
Susan Oderwald
Direct Line: 203/740-5471
Fax: 203/775-8490
email: Seoderwald@4spe.org
Conference Coordinator
Gwen Mathis
6 S. Second Street, SE
Lindale, Georgia 30147
706/235-9298
Fax: 706/295-4276
email: gmathis224@aol.com
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 23

UNIVERSITy NEWS
Alliance with
Education

Gettysburg High School,
Gettysburg, PA

Roger Kipp, McClarin Plastics, Inc.

“A school’s goal is to develop

interests and open new avenues
for students to explore,” said
Dave Snyder, Co-Chair of
the Career and Technology
Department at Gettysburg High
School.

In order to stimulate workforce
development in manufacturing,
and to further the interest of
the next generation in plastics
manufacturing jobs, industry
must provide the pathway to our
technology. Educational facilities
including, universities, junior
colleges, technical institutes, and
high schools all connect to that

development. An alliance with

those programs is vital to our
sustainable growth and success.

In 2008, with support from a
SPE Thermoforming Division
Equipment Grant, a generous

discount from MAAC
Thermoforming Machinery,

and additional federal funding,
a thermoforming work cell was
created to expand the school’s
Engineering Design course
incorporating thermoforming
technology into the course
content as part of a 6-week group
challenge.

Thermoforming is introduced
as an application of material

engineering and industrial
systems engineering. The
students explored manufacturing
and product development by

thermoforming on the MAAC

machine, developing design in

CAD and creating manufacturing

programs for CNC robotic mold
machining and part trimming.
In the plastics activity they
are encouraged to use existing
molds to test characteristics of
different plastics and explore
thermal variables that affect part
production. The machine settings,
temperatures and results are
recorded and used as part of the
research and investigation step in
the production of prototype parts.

Remote Control Boat

As an independent study course,

2011 senior Kevin Ohler designed
and built a remote control boat.
The boat hull was modeled
after an off shore racing hull.
Kevin designed the hull using

Autodesk Inventor. He then

created the necessary tool paths
and machining codes using

Master Cam to allow the ShopBot

CNC router to cut the mold for

thermoforming on the MAAC

machine. Kevin then drilled the
necessary vacuum evacuation
holes in the mold and constructed
the vacuum box. Todd Chrismer,

Production Manager at McClarin

Plastics, assisted Kevin with his
hull mold design and provided
the students with valuable tips on
industry thermoforming practice.

Giant Combination Lock

In another independent study

course, Logan Riser and Ryan

Dudash reverse engineered a
working lock that is 6 times

larger than a standard Master

lock. The students unassembled

several Master locks to understand

how a lock functions. Then they
created the necessary tool paths

and machining codes with Master

Cam to complete machining of
the thermoforming molds with the
ShopBot router. With this project
the ShopBot was also programmed
for trimming the thermoformed
components. The lock’s external
body was thermoformed utilizing
draw box processing techniques.
The giant white hasp was
fabricated from PVC pipe. The
students built a wooden form to
bend the pipe around. They then
filled the PVC pipe with sand

and heated it using the MAAC

oven. Once the pipe softened
the students armed with welding
gloves removed the pipe from the
carriage and bent it around the
wooden form.

Remote Control Car

One of the group options for the 6
week program is the popular Penn
College Plastics Engineering RC
Car competition in Williamsport,

PA. The students are challenged

to create a 1/18th scale body for

a LOSI radio controlled toy race

car. In this exciting engineering
challenge the students produce

(continued on next page)

24 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

the vehicle body using the
thermoforming process. They
are expected to complete the
necessary engineering research,

CAD drawings and molds, all to

be incorporated into their final
formal presentation. During
production of the car a group
of 4 or 5 students assign team
member responsibilities, set
and evaluate progress to goals,

use Auto Cad to design, Master

Cam to machine and trim,
and develop presentations in

PowerPoint. All in addition to the

discovery of dealing with sheet
thermoforming and the related
polymer characteristics. This
year, four groups have completed
the thermoforming challenge
with a focus on competing in
Williamsport this spring. This
is a unique opportunity for high
school students to utilize industrial
equipment at a level of technology
and competition.

The Thermoforming Division
can be proud of the Gettysburg
students and the way they have
utilized the Division’s grant to
trigger their ideas for a future in
manufacturing, preferably one that
includes thermoformed plastics.
The pictures accompanying this
article further document the
amazing success of these projects.

x

See photos
on
page 26

Thermoforming
Center of Excellence
Receives Innovation
Grant

Released January 10, 2011

Pennsylvania College of
Technology’s Plastics

Manufacturing Center was

recently awarded an Innovation
Grant from the Pennsylvania
Department of Community and
Economic Development.

The $100,000 grant will fund
the hiring of a thermoforming
program manager to help lead the

PMC’s Thermoforming Center

of Excellence, providing project
management to the center’s
industry clients and helping
to develop curriculum for the
college’s plastics program.

The Thermoforming Center of

Excellence, opened in April

2010, is an 1,800-square-foot
facility dedicated to serve the
education, training, and research
and development needs of
thermoformers, sheet extruders,
resin suppliers, mold builders and
equipment manufacturers.

It represents the only state-ofthe-
art Center of Excellence for
research and development and
education for the thermoforming

industry in North America. It

greatly enhances Pennsylvania’s
infrastructure to serve local
industry and its competitiveness
for attracting outside companies
to locate in the commonwealth
Keystone Innovation Zones.

On November 30, Pennsylvania
announced 14 Innovation Grants,
totaling $1.3 million, to its
colleges and research facilities
to help bring Pennsylvania-made
technologies to market. The
investments will leverage an
additional $1.6 million in outside
funding.

Since the Innovation Grant
program began in 2006, the
state has invested more than
$12.7 million in Pennsylvania’s
research institutions. Because of
the program, 523 well-paying,
high-skilled jobs and 91 startup
companies have been created,
and more than 1,500 technologies
have been developed.

The Innovation Grant and the
Keystone Innovation Zone
programs are funded through

the Ben Franklin Technology
Development Authority – one

of the nation’s largest and most
replicated state technologydevelopment
programs that
provides a vehicle for investment
in economic-, community- and
university-based innovation. Its
programs are a key component of
DCED’s strategy and mission.

The Penn College Plastics

Manufacturing Center is one

of the top plastics-technology
centers in the country. It offers
industry access to extensive
material-testing laboratories,
industrial-scale process
equipment, world-class training
facilities and highly skilled
consulting staff. x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 25

Alliance with Education … continued

Gettysburg High School, Gettysburg, PA

Chad Love and Todd Chrismer from

Boat hull mold ready for forming.

McClarin Plastics, Inc., Steven Shetter, and

Kevin Ohler prepare to form a boat hull.

Master lock outer body shell – side view.

Kevin Ohler drills vacuum holes in the hull
body mold.

Master lock design and build team – Logan
Riser and Ryan Dudash.

From the Editor

If you are an educator, student or advisor in a college or university with a
plastics program, we want to hear from you! The SPE Thermoforming Division
has a long and rich tradition of working with academic partners. From
scholarships and grants to workforce development programs, the division
seeks to promote a stronger bond between industry and academia.
Thermoforming Quarterly is proud to publish news and stories related to
the science and business of thermoforming:
• New materials development
• New applications
• Innovative technologies
• Industry partnerships
• New or expanding laboratory facilities
• Endowments
We are also interested in hearing from our members and colleagues
around the world. If your school or institution has an international partner,
please invite them to submit relevant content. We publish press releases,
student essays, photos and technical papers. If you would like to arrange an
interview, please contact Ken Griep, Academic Programs, at:
ken@pcmwi.com or 608.742.7137
26 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Executive
Committee

2010 – 2012

CHAIR

Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
(608) 742-7137
Fax (608) 742-2199
ken@pcmwi.com

CHAIR ELECT

Phil Barhouse
Spartech Packaging Technologies
100 Creative Way, PO Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
(920) 748-1119
Fax (920) 748-9466
phil.barhouse@spartech.com

TREASURER

James Alongi
MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
(630) 665-1700
Fax (630) 665-7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com

SECRETARY

Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
(973) 248-9370
Fax (973) 835-7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com

COUNCILOR WITH TERM
ENDING ANTEC 2010

Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
P. O. Box 486, 15 Industrial Drive
Hanover, PA 17331
(717) 637-2241 x4003
Fax (717) 637-4811
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com

PRIOR CHAIR

Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Avenue
Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 390-9906, Ext. 216
Fax (909) 390-9984
brianr@rayplastics.com

2010 – 2012 THERMOFORMING DIVISION ORGANIZATIONAL CHART

Chair
Ken Griep
Chair Elect
Phil Barhouse
Finance
Bob Porsche
Technical Committees
Materials
Roger Jean
Machinery
Don Kruschke
Secretary
Mike Sirotnak
Nominating
Clarissa Schroeder
Publications /
Advertising
Laura Pichon
Newsletter / Technical
Editor
Conor Carlin
OPCOM
Phil Barhouse
Treasurer
James Alongi
AARC
Rich Freeman
Student Programs
Brian Winton
Councilor
Roger Kipp
Prior Chair
Brian Ray
2011 Conference
Schaumburg, IL
James Alongi
Antec
Brian Winton
Membership
Haydn Forward
Communications
Clarissa Schroeder
Recognition
Juliet Goff
Green Committee
Steve Hasselbach
2012 Conference
Grand Rapids, MI
Haydn Forward &
Lola Carere
Conference
Coordinator
Consultant
Gwen Mathis
Processing
Haydn Forward
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 27

COUNCIL SUMMARy COUNCIL SUMMARy
Roger Kipp
Councilor

T
T
he council activities of
this “Global Society” have
maintained a high intensity
focus on the development
of a stronger SPE. For SPE
to continue the mission of
providing and promoting
quality plastics education and
technical information worldwide,
the society first has to regain
financial stability. This stability
requires the stimulation of
membership retention and
growth with an understanding
and communication of member
values to the industry. That
includes those involved in
plastics engineering and,
equally as important, their
corporate leadership. The
following overview provides
some highlights of those council
activities and results.

Financial

•
A positive cash contribution
of $120,000.00 to net
assets was realized in 2010,
bringing total net assets to
over $1 million dollars. This
is an amazing turn around
when you consider that
net assets were negative
$300,000.00 at year-end

2008.

•
The budget approved at the
September Council meeting
projects a $313,000.00 net
contribution for 2011.
•
This budget was developed
using conservative estimates
in all categories.
•
Membership is
conservatively based on
revenues attained in 2010
with no change projected
in the base rate of dues
and membership at 15,000
members. Again this is
conservative and the same as
2010.
Much of the credit for this
turnaround goes to Executive
Director Susan Oderwald.
Long-term contracts for the
SPE Journals, contracting
the publication of Plastics
Engineering to Wiley
Subscription Services and
negotiating the sale of the 30year-
old headquarters building
in 2009 have all made a huge
impact on reducing expenses and
increasing revenues.

Extensive operations and
governance cost-containment
further strengthened the results.

Staff reductions, staff financial
sacrifices, and reduced facilities

and operating costs were all
contributing factors.

In order to maintain financial
stability, SPE must continue to
contain costs while increasing
membership and participation
in technical conferences and
other events.

Membership

•
Membership stabilized in
2010 after bottoming out in
2009 with a 15% loss.
•
A net gain of 2.2% was
realized in 2010 bringing
membership to 15,300.
•
Retention is at 77% – an
increase of 7% over 2010.
•
There are 3,680 new
members with 14%
coming in at ANTEC and
39% through company
participation.
•
Membership target for
2011 is 16,000 members.
•
A new extended “Young
Professional” membership
and a “Retired” membership
status as well as possible
joint memberships through
other organizations are
changes being considered to
further stimulate growth.
(continued on next page)

28 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

•
Management system
software technology
upgrades with new pricing
strategies and other
features designed toward
a “customized” value
proposition for members will
further support retention and
growth.
Association
Management Software
(AMS)

•
The 2011 budget includes
expenditures to support the
replacement of the 1997
system that lacked today’s
web-based technology.
•
AMS will update and
enhance the SPE on presence
while providing further
office efficiencies.

•
This new system will allow
the SPE website to more
fully interact with members
in real time. It will provide
payment options including
monthly withdrawal, auto
renewal, multi currency
options and a more efficient

event registration process.

•
AMS provides improved
management of group
events, activity calendars
and real time availability of
member lists.
•
AMS will go live by early in
the second quarter of 2011.
•
Look for improved
member value with
real time information
and activity including
mobile accessibility via
smartphones.

ANTEC 2011

•
Mark your calendar for
May 1-5, 2011.
•
Hynes Convention Center in
Boston, MA www.4spe.org/
conference/antec-2011
•
ANTEC is the largest
technical conference for
plastics globally with over
700 papers planned for 2011.
This paper submittal is up
25% from 2010.
•
Papers presented at ANTEC
remain in SPE’s online
technical library providing
a resource to you and your
company years after the
event has concluded.
Seminars and the SPE
Online Store

•
SPE will no longer produce
independent seminars with
independent instructors.
Revenues have not justified

the total costs.

•
A new review and licensing
model will be introduced
where industry seminar
providers communicate
with SPE members through
preferred promotion and
market support.
•
Licensed providers will
be required to meet SPE
certification criteria

standards.

•
The SPE on line store will
remain in place to sell SPE
proceedings, recordings, and
other products.
•
SPE will continue to manage
agreements with publishers
who provide preferred
pricing and offerings
through the online store with
inventory and fulfillment

passed through to the
publishers. (Amazon model)

Virtual Council Meeting

•
As council expenses for
travel and meeting space
have continued to increase,
a more efficient method of

holding governance meeting
has evolved.

•
One meeting annually is now
a virtual meeting.
•
The meeting held on Friday,
February 11 included 83
councilors from all around
the globe.
•
This 3 hour meeting
was a great success.
The technology worked
flawlessly allowing efficient

presentations and voting.

The next Council meeting will
be held in Boston at ANTEC. As
Councilor I request your input
and suggestions for continuous
improvement opportunities within
SPE. Please feel free to e-mail me
at rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com. x

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 29

From the Editor

Juliet Oehler Goff, President/CEO, Kal Plastics
If you are an educator, student or advisor in a college or university with a plastics program,
we want to hear from you! The SPE Thermoforming Division has a long and rich tradition of
working with academic partners. From scholarships and grants to workforce development
programs, the division seeks to promote a stronger bond between industry and academia.
Thermoforming Quarterly is proud to publish news and stories related to the science and
business of thermoforming:
• New materials development
• New applications
• Innovative technologies
• Industry partnerships
• New or expanding laboratory facilities
• Endowments
We are also interested in hearing from our members and colleagues around the world. If
your school or institution has an international partner, please invite them to submit relevant
content. We publish press releases, student essays, photos and technical papers. If you
would like to arrange an interview, please contact Ken Griep, Academic Programs, at:
ken@pcmwi.com or 608.742.7137
ISO 9001:2000
REDUCE! REUSE!
RECYCLE!
REDUCE! REUSE!
RECYCLE!

30 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Thermoforming QUArTerLY 31
Board of Directors
MACHINERY COMMITTEE
James Alongi
MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
T: 630.665.1700
F: 630.665.7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com
Roger Fox
The Foxmor Group
373 S. Country Farm Road
Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60187
T: 630.653.2200
F: 630.653.1474
rfox@foxmor.com
Hal Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc.
103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045
T: 856.778.4300
F: 856.234.3310
halg@productiveplastics.com
Don Kruschke (Chair)
TME
31875 Solon Road
Solon, OH 44139
T: 440.498.4000
F: 440.498.4001
donk@allthingsthermoforming.com
Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
T: 973.248.9370
F: 973.835.7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com
Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Drive
Ontario, CA 91761
T: 909.390.9906
F: 909.390.9984
brianr@rayplastics.com
Brian Winton
Modern Machinery
PO Box 423
Beaverton, MI 48612
T: 989.435.9071
F: 989.435.3940
bwinton@modernmachineinc.com
Dennis Northrop
Akzo Nobel
1872 Highway 9 Bypass
Lancaster, NC 29720
T: 803.287.5535
dnorthrop@paintfilm.com
Robert G. Porsche
General Plastics
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209
T: 414.351.1000
F: 414.351.1284
bob@genplas.com
Mark Strachan
Global Thermoforming
Technologies
1550 SW 24th Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
T: 754.224.7513
globalmarks@hotmail.com
Jay Waddell
Plastics Concepts & Innovations
1127 Queensborough Road
Suite 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
T: 843.971.7833
F: 843.216.6151
jwaddell@plasticoncepts.com
Eric Short
Mytex Polymers
1403 Port Road
Jeffersonville, IN 47130-8411
T: 248.705.2830
F: 248.328.8073
eric_short@mytexpolymers.com
PROCESSING COMMITTEE
Haydn Forward (Chair)
Specialty Manufacturing Co.
6790 Nancy Ridge Road
San Diego, CA 92121
T: 858.450.1591
F: 858.450.0400
hforward@smi-mfg.com
Richard Freeman
Freetech Plastics
2211 Warm Springs Court
Fremont, CA 94539
T: 510.651.9996
F: 510.651.9917
rfree@freetechplastics.com
Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
T: 608.742.7137
F: 608.742.2199
ken@pcmwi.com
Steve Hasselbach
CMI Plastics
222 Pepsi Way
Ayden, NC 28416
T: 252.746.2171
F: 252.746.2172
steve@cmiplastics.com
Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
15 Industrial Drive
PO Box 486
Hanover, PA 17331
T: 717.637.2241
F: 717.637.2091
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com
Bret Joslyn
Joslyn Manufacturing
9400 Valley View Road
Macedonia, OH 44056
T: 330.467.8111
F: 330.467.6574
bret@joslyn-mfg.com
Stephen Murrill
Profile Plastics
65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
T: 847.604.5100 x29
F: 847.604.8030
smurrill@thermoform.com
MATERIALS COMMITTEE
Jim Armor
Armor & Associates
16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: 714.846.7000
F: 714.846.7001
jimarmor@aol.com
Phil Barhouse
Spartech Packaging
Technologies
100 Creative Way
PO Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
T: 920.748.1119
F: 920.748.9466
phil.barhouse@spartech.comLola Carere
Thermopro
1600 Cross Point Way
Suite D
Duluth, GA 30097
T: 678.957.3220
F: 678.475.1747
lcarere@thermopro.com
Juliet Goff
Kal Plastics, Inc.
2050 East 48th Street
Vernon, CA 90058-2022
T: 323.581.6194
Juliet@kal-plastics.com
Donald Hylton
McConnell Company
646 Holyfield Highway
Fairburn, GA 30213
T: 678.772.5008
don@thermoformingmc.com
Roger P. Jean (Chair)
Rowmark/PMC
PO Box 1605
2040 Industrial Drive
Findlay, OH 45840
T: 567.208.9758
rjean@rowmark.com
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
PO Box 576
11413 Burlington Road
Richmond, IL 60071
T: 847.829.8124
F: 815.678.4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Clarissa Schroeder
Auriga Polymers, Inc.
Film & Sheet Division
1551 Sha Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307
T: 864.579.5047
F: 864.579.5288
Clarissa.Schroeder@us.indorama.net
Thermoforming QUArTerLY 31
Board of Directors
MACHINERY COMMITTEE
James Alongi
MAAC Machinery
590 Tower Blvd.
Carol Stream, IL 60188
T: 630.665.1700
F: 630.665.7799
jalongi@maacmachinery.com
Roger Fox
The Foxmor Group
373 S. Country Farm Road
Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60187
T: 630.653.2200
F: 630.653.1474
rfox@foxmor.com
Hal Gilham
Productive Plastics, Inc.
103 West Park Drive
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08045
T: 856.778.4300
F: 856.234.3310
halg@productiveplastics.com
Don Kruschke (Chair)
TME
31875 Solon Road
Solon, OH 44139
T: 440.498.4000
F: 440.498.4001
donk@allthingsthermoforming.com
Mike Sirotnak
Solar Products
228 Wanaque Avenue
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442
T: 973.248.9370
F: 973.835.7856
msirotnak@solarproducts.com
Brian Ray
Ray Products
1700 Chablis Drive
Ontario, CA 91761
T: 909.390.9906
F: 909.390.9984
brianr@rayplastics.com
Brian Winton
Modern Machinery
PO Box 423
Beaverton, MI 48612
T: 989.435.9071
F: 989.435.3940
bwinton@modernmachineinc.com
Dennis Northrop
Akzo Nobel
1872 Highway 9 Bypass
Lancaster, NC 29720
T: 803.287.5535
dnorthrop@paintfilm.com
Robert G. Porsche
General Plastics
2609 West Mill Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209
T: 414.351.1000
F: 414.351.1284
bob@genplas.com
Mark Strachan
Global Thermoforming
Technologies
1550 SW 24th Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
T: 754.224.7513
globalmarks@hotmail.com
Jay Waddell
Plastics Concepts & Innovations
1127 Queensborough Road
Suite 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
T: 843.971.7833
F: 843.216.6151
jwaddell@plasticoncepts.com
Eric Short
Mytex Polymers
1403 Port Road
Jeffersonville, IN 47130-8411
T: 248.705.2830
F: 248.328.8073
eric_short@mytexpolymers.com
PROCESSING COMMITTEE
Haydn Forward (Chair)
Specialty Manufacturing Co.
6790 Nancy Ridge Road
San Diego, CA 92121
T: 858.450.1591
F: 858.450.0400
hforward@smi-mfg.com
Richard Freeman
Freetech Plastics
2211 Warm Springs Court
Fremont, CA 94539
T: 510.651.9996
F: 510.651.9917
rfree@freetechplastics.com
Ken Griep
Portage Casting & Mold
2901 Portage Road
Portage, WI 53901
T: 608.742.7137
F: 608.742.2199
ken@pcmwi.com
Steve Hasselbach
CMI Plastics
222 Pepsi Way
Ayden, NC 28416
T: 252.746.2171
F: 252.746.2172
steve@cmiplastics.com
Roger Kipp
McClarin Plastics
15 Industrial Drive
PO Box 486
Hanover, PA 17331
T: 717.637.2241
F: 717.637.2091
rkipp@mcclarinplastics.com
Bret Joslyn
Joslyn Manufacturing
9400 Valley View Road
Macedonia, OH 44056
T: 330.467.8111
F: 330.467.6574
bret@joslyn-mfg.com
Stephen Murrill
Profile Plastics
65 S. Waukegan
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
T: 847.604.5100 x29
F: 847.604.8030
smurrill@thermoform.com
MATERIALS COMMITTEE
Jim Armor
Armor & Associates
16181 Santa Barbara Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
T: 714.846.7000
F: 714.846.7001
jimarmor@aol.com
Phil Barhouse
Spartech Packaging
Technologies
100 Creative Way
PO Box 128
Ripon, WI 54971
T: 920.748.1119
F: 920.748.9466
phil.barhouse@spartech.comLola Carere
Thermopro
1600 Cross Point Way
Suite D
Duluth, GA 30097
T: 678.957.3220
F: 678.475.1747
lcarere@thermopro.com
Juliet Goff
Kal Plastics, Inc.
2050 East 48th Street
Vernon, CA 90058-2022
T: 323.581.6194
Juliet@kal-plastics.com
Donald Hylton
McConnell Company
646 Holyfield Highway
Fairburn, GA 30213
T: 678.772.5008
don@thermoformingmc.com
Roger P. Jean (Chair)
Rowmark/PMC
PO Box 1605
2040 Industrial Drive
Findlay, OH 45840
T: 567.208.9758
rjean@rowmark.com
Laura Pichon
Ex-Tech Plastics
PO Box 576
11413 Burlington Road
Richmond, IL 60071
T: 847.829.8124
F: 815.678.4248
lpichon@extechplastics.com
Clarissa Schroeder
Auriga Polymers, Inc.
Film & Sheet Division
1551 Sha Lane
Spartanburg, SC 29307
T: 864.579.5047
F: 864.579.5288
Clarissa.Schroeder@us.indorama.net

nAccess to industry knowledge from one central location: www.thermoformingdivision.com.
nSubscription to Thermoforming Quarterly, voted “Publication of the Year” by SPE National.
nExposure to new ideas and trends from across the globe
nNew and innovative part design at the Parts Competition.
nOpen dialogue with the entire industry at the annual conference.
nDiscounts, discounts, discounts on books, seminars and conferences.
nFor managers: workshops and presentations tailored specifically to the needs of your operators.
nFor operators: workshops and presentations that will send you home with new tools to improve your performance, make your job easier and help the
company’s bottom line.
Join D25 toDay!
nAccess to industry knowledge from one central location: www.thermoformingdivision.com.
nSubscription to Thermoforming Quarterly, voted “Publication of the Year” by SPE National.
nExposure to new ideas and trends from across the globe
nNew and innovative part design at the Parts Competition.
nOpen dialogue with the entire industry at the annual conference.
nDiscounts, discounts, discounts on books, seminars and conferences.
nFor managers: workshops and presentations tailored specifically to the needs of your operators.
nFor operators: workshops and presentations that will send you home with new tools to improve your performance, make your job easier and help the
company’s bottom line.
Join D25 toDay!
Thermoforming
Quarterly®
FIRST QUARTER 2011
VOLUME 30 n NUMBER 1
Sponsor Index These sponsors enable us to publish Thermoforming Quarterly
n Allen ……………………………30
n ANTEC 2011 ………………….11
n Brown Machine……………….20
n CMT Materials ………………..14
n CMG ……………………………30
n GN Plastics ……………………..4
n GPEC 2011 ……………………21
n Kiefel …………………………..30
n KMT …………………………….21
n Kydex ………Inside Front Cover
n MAAC Machinery……………..21
n McClarin Plastics……………….4
n PCI ……………………………..27
n PMC ………… Inside Back Cover
n Portage Casting & Mold……….4
n Primex Plastics ……………….14
n Productive Plastics …………..30
n Profile Plastics Corp. ………..30
n PTi ……………………Back Cover
n Ray Products………………….30
n Solar Products………………….4
n Tempco ………………………..32
n Thermoforming Machinery &

Equipment Inc……………..27
n Thermwood……………………10
n TPS …………………………….10
n TSL……………………………..17
n Zed Industries………………..30

Thermoforming Division Membership Benefits

32 Thermoforming QUArTerLY

Leave a Reply