The Development of a Vacuum Forming System for KYDEX and Other Thermoplastic Sheet

by Andrew G Smith

Institution: East Tennessee State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Vacuum; Vacuum Forming; Vacuum Molding System; Thermoforming; Manufacturing; Design; Engineering; Manufacturing; Other Engineering Science and Materials
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2151554
Full text PDF: https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3233


Vacuum forming is a popular, cost effective method amongst large and small scale applications. The method is used to mold a material to the surface of a mold/pattern in order to create a negative copy for reproduction or an object in positive form. The prototype vacuum forming system developed and documented herein is of a membrane-seal type that consists of three (3) principle parts: radial platen, Hinged Frame and Platen Support Assembly, and a PVC surge tank. Each part is described in detail through design, manufacturing, and testing processes. The design supports functional versatility, small scale molding, and uses readily available materials. Functional prototype testing was performed with the thermoplastic KYDEX and multiple objects for mold examples. Results include successful proof of concept, design pros and cons, and findings based on functional testing.