Where is vacuum used in forming, pressing and rolling applications?
Vacuum forming, pressing and rolling are widespread processes in many industries and manufacturing technology. These processes are used to combine a wide variety of materials or to give them a shape
by means of a specific mold.
For forming, it is important that a clearly defined vacuum is used to insert the material into the mold. Thermoforming,
a classic process used for many products, is used to shape plastic films. In this process, the plastic films are heated to soften them. A vacuum is applied through the mold. This has the effect of pulling the film, which has been softened by the heating process, into the mold. Once the film cools, it retains the shape of the mold. This method can be used to create food packaging and other products, and even preformed plastic shapes to make garden ponds.
Vacuum pressing is used in the wood industry, for example, when several layers of wood are glued together and mechanical pressing cannot be used due to the geometric shape of the product. Vacuum is also used to attach veneers or synthetic materials to wooden profiles, e.g. on the front of kitchen furniture.
Vacuum lamination is a process used to bond different layers of materials together, and is typically used in the semiconductor and electronics industries. Solar modules, flat panel displays and smartphone screens are created in this way.
Examples of vacuum use in forming applications:
Mold evacuation – To produce wind turbine blades
Thermoforming – for the production of various packaging materials
Examples of the use of vacuum in pressing applications:
Veneer presses – For attaching synthetic veneers to furniture surfaces
Vacuum Resin Transfer Molding (VRTM)
Examples of the use of vacuum in lamination applications:
Laminating flat panel displays
Solar panel lamination