Thermoforming Quarterly is a journal published quarterly by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The magazine is a great way to keep up with industry trends and developments. SPE Thermoforming Division members receive the magazine by mail four times a year. Non-members can access old issues here via PDF file. If you are not an SPE member this is a great reason to join! Become a member today to start receiving this valuable information in your mailbox.

We welcome objective, technical and related articles that provide valuable information to our community of thermoformers, toolmakers, material suppliers and OEMs. Articles are typically 1500-2000 words. We recommend viewing past articles for further guidance. All submissions should be in MS Word, 12-pt Times New Roman.

Artwork, illustrations, photos and graphics should be 300 dpi. We prefer .eps .jpeg and .pdf files

2024 Deadlines for content and artwork: 1st Quarter: March 1; 2nd Quarter: June 15; 3rd Quarter: September 15; 4th Quarter: December 1.

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First Quarter 2024

Effects of Process Parameters in Thermoforming of Unidirectional Fibre-Reinforced Thermoplastics

Process-induced defects during thermoforming are widespread problems in laminate manufacturing. The aim of this study is to describe the effects of holding time and pressure on several properties of the manufactured laminate. A design of experiments is performed, followed by an analysis of variance to examine significant effects. Subsequently, a regression model is created to predict the laminate’s properties, which is also validated. A significant interaction between holding time and pressure is determined for the resulting tensile strength and elongation at break with a p-value of 1.52 · 10−16 and 0.02, respectively. The highest values of tensile strength and elongation at break are found for low settings of holding time and pressure. The fibre volume fraction is not affected by the process parameters. As holding time and pressure increase, significant fibre misalignment takes place, leading to a decrease of the mechanical properties. The regression model corresponds well with the validation and a tensile strength of 1049 MPa with an elongation at break of 2.3% is reached.

Fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTP) are primarily used in the transportation sector, such as automobiles and aerospace, relying on lightweight structures combined with high strength and stiffness [1]. The manufacturing takes place at temperatures near the melting point of the used thermoplastic matrix to reduce its viscosity and enable sufficient impregnation of the fibres. Common melt viscosity values for thermoplastics are 102–104 Pa·s, which are much higher compared to those of epoxy polymers during impregnation (10−1–101 Pa·s) [2,3]. As a result, different manufacturing processes need to be considered, and a fundamental understanding of the respective process parameters is crucial. Furthermore, a thermoplastic matrix offers the possibility of short cycle times due to the use of semi-finished materials, such as prepregs (pre-impregnated material), organo sheets, or unidirectional fibre-reinforced tapes (UD-tapes) [4,5]. This paper focuses on UD-tapes, which can be oriented in any load direction, allowing for targeted fulfilment of current load requirements.


Pioneering Sustainable Packaging in Southeast Asia

The inception and growth of Surya Indo Plastic (SIP), a thermoforming packaging manufacturer based in Indonesia, reflect a unique journey shaped by technical expertise, commitment to sustainability and a keen understanding of market dynamics, particularly in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Being the region’s only company dedicated solely to producing 100% recycled PET (rPET) food packaging, by using post-consumer recycled materials rather than creating new plastic, SIP sets the example that packaging can and should be made sustainably. Their purpose is to make a difference through innovation, responsibility, and collaboration. By providing food packaging containing 100% recycled PET, while meeting the highest standards of quality and performance.

In Indonesia, the absence of a reliable tap water system means that many people rely on alternative water sources, such as bottled water, for their drinking water needs. The predominant packaging material used for bottled water is PET. Due to the widespread consumption of bottled water, there is an abundance of post-consumer PET bottles in the waste stream. While the formal collection of PET is low due to a lack of professional collection and source separation, the informal sector dominates collection, and is driven by a network of waste collectors. The post-consumer PET bottles, when effectively collected and recycled, serve as a valuable feedstock to produce recycled PET material. To tap into this high potential for PET recycling, significant investments are made in PET recycling technology and infrastructure in Indonesia.

Complete articles are published in the magazine and mailed to SPE Thermoforming Division Members.

2024

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