Shaping and Deforming Plastics

Line Bending

Thermoplastics cannot be bent when cold.

Acrylic can be bent using a strip heater or line bender which will heat the plastic in a straight line, so it can be bent at any angle.

Thermoplastics can be heated and shaped many times. Thermoplastics will soften when it is heated and can be shaped when hot. The plastic will harden when cooled, but can be reshaped because there is no links between the polymer chains.

Advantages in forming plastics

High production rates are possible.

For example - Injection moulding allows you to produce products with a good finish to a good consistent quality.

Disadvantages to Forming Plastics

Very expensive to set up - the tools (the dies or moulds) are produced to a high degree of accuracy and surface finish.