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.
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2022 Deadlines for content and artwork: 1st Quarter: February 15; 2nd Quarter: May 16; 3rd Quarter: August 15; 4th Quarter: November 15.
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First Quarter 2022
Designer’s Corner: The View from Europe
How do we increase productivity via cycle speed while at the same time improving part quality? To know how this works, you must first understand the basics in thermoforming.
Film is cycled through the machine. With each cycle, the foil (sheet) is heated by the main heating tunnel with upper and lower heating zones to the desired sheet temperature.
But with each cycle, the heated film stops in front of the cooled tool. The cooled tool has natural radiation and cools down the hot sheet. The slower the machine runs, the more the sheet cools down in front of the tool. This makes it more difficult to form the sheet because it is losing heat. This leads to poor material distribution: eventually you might find holes in the formed cup.
With a higher cycle speed, the cold tool has less influence on the heated foil. This means that with a higher cycle speed, the sheet cools down less: the result is a warmer sheet. This is easier to deform. Better material distribution.
Learning About Dry Molded Fiber
Dry molded fiber is not a material, a machine, or a product; it’s a technology, a method, just like thermoforming of plastics. The technology is patented by PulPac and the first patents, were filed in 2016. The IP revolves around a novel production method, dry molded fiber, which is a method of manufacturing three-dimensionally shaped cellulose articles formed from dry fibers with air as a carrying medium and pressed using a heated mold. The company has global IP-coverage and claims ownership of dry molded fiber. The most general patent has been granted for markets in Europe, USA, and Japan. Based on the core IP, PulPac has developed a complete technology platform covering multiple areas of fiber application manufacturing, all driven by the need for disruptive technical solutions to enable a sustainable packaging industry. The portfolio is continuously growing and today there are 22 patent families covering different aspects of the process of dry forming cellulose.
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