What Do We Do with Left Over Plastic

assembly-fabrication-thumbThe thermoforming process we use to create plastic components for our clients starts with large, flat sheets of plastic that we heat and then add pressure to in order to form the components. The excess plastic is then trimmed away to complete the plastic component. What happens to all of this excess plastic that we trim away?

We know that many people are concerned about how plastic interacts with the environment, because it takes a long time to break down naturally. That is why at Tru-Form Plastics, we make an effort to reground and re-use all of our excess plastic. When we can, we reprocess this excess plastic so that we convert it into new sheets that we can use on our next project.

This recycling system makes good business sense but also helps us keep plastic out of landfills. We know our clients appreciate the fact that creating their plastic components doesn’t result in a lot of wasted plastic!

What Do We Mean By “Male” and “Female” Tools?

ToolsIn the plastics trade, we often talk about manufacturing “male” and “female” tools. What exactly does this mean?

No, we’re not talking about creating specific tools for men and different tools for women. Rather, when we look at connectors and fasteners, we see that there are two components that fit together. Needing a way to distinguish one connector from the other, someone long ago decided that easiest way to remember the difference was to use gendered words. For obvious reasons, the part with protrusions that fits into the other part is the “male” tool, while the other is the “female” tool.

Yes, this dynamic is relatively crude and there are endless bawdy jokes that could (and have) been made. Somehow, though, these terms have stuck and are common industry parlance. Therefore, regardless of their origins, knowing what “male” and “female” tools means and how to tell one type of part from the other is important, especially if your product incorporates connectors and fasteners.

Thin-Gauge Thermoforming vs. Thick-Gauge Thermoforming

Thin-Gauge Thermoforming vs. Thick-Gauge ThermoformingThermoforming is a highly efficient method of turning big sheets of plastic into the things that we have come to rely in everyday life, from the lids on our soft drinks to the dashboard panels in our cars. When you start looking a little more deeply into thermoforming, the first major distinction to recognize is thin-gauge thermoforming versus thick-gauge thermoforming.

As you might imagine, thin-gauge thermoforming focuses on creating very thin, usually disposal plastic items. These can include things like throwaway plastic cups and those annoying plastic claim shells that no one can open. If you want to get technical, thin-gauge thermoforming usually deals with materials that are less than .060” thickness. Anything thicker than that, and we move into thick-gauge thermoforming.

Thick-gauge thermoforming is used to make all sorts of different plastic components. Take any major machine, like your refrigerator, a jumbo jet, or a piece of industrial equipment and in all likelihood you’ll find multiple plastic parts inside that were made using thick-gauge thermoforming.

Here at Tru-Form Plastics, we specialize in making the thick-gauge thermoforming parts that businesses and people need!