Medical Thermoforming

Thermoforming involves the heating of medical polymer film above their softening point such that it conforms to a male or female mold cavity. Incorporation of vacuum pressure to the heated film, known as vacuum forming, ensures conformity to the mold configuration. In comparison to other processing methods, molds used for thermoforming and vacuum forming are economical due to the low pressure used in the process and limited mold complexity.

Polyzen has in-house capabilities to produce films and molds used for thermoforming and vacuum forming. Our production equipment is capable of forming thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs), polyamides, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), polyolefins, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), engineering thermoplastics, and laminated films.

Medical Thermoforming Applications

Historically, vacuum thermoforming is used to produce medical trays, housings, containers, and more. These processes are best used for low or medium levels of production or for large components with limited design features. However, at Polyzen, we have adopted the vacuum thermoforming process for low-pressure balloons where the body-to-neck ratio is above 5-1 and low wall thicknesses are required.

Trays & Containers

Many medical trays and containers are ideally suited for thermoforming due to the simple design and low volume requirements. Mold costs are substantially less than alternative processes such as injection molding.

Housings

Medical equipment housings are not commonly produced in quantities that can justify costly injection molds. Thermoforming or vacuum forming these housings, combined with post-mold machining and assembly processes, can provided the best economic, aesthetic, and performance value proposition.

Balloons

Thermoforming techniques, along with our in-house RF welding, can be used to produce an array of simple and complex medical balloons. This includes specialized medical balloons with a high body-to-neck diameter ratio.

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Bellows

3D plastic bellows, ranging from soft and compliant to fully rigid and noncompliant, can be produced using thermoforming technology. These can be used in combination with other components for complex, value-added assemblies.

Polyzen Thermoforming Capabilities

Typical Dimensions
  • Max Surface Area ≈ 18 x 18 Inches
  • Min Surface Area ≈ 0.125 x 0.125 Inches
  • Film Thickness ≈ 0.001″ – 0.030 Inches
Typical Materials
  • Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPUs)
  • Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs)
  • Polyamides (Pebax*)
  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
  • Polyolefins (PP, PE)
  • Fluoropolymers (PVDF)
Quality & Testing
  • Drop Gauge
  • Tensile Strength
  • Leak Resistance
 

About Polyzen

Polyzen, Inc. is a leading contract developer and manufacturer of custom medical-grade polymer components and products for medical device manufacturers worldwide. With fully equipped facilities in Apex, NC, we’re capable of taking any customer’s concept from prototype to full-scale production. We offer a variety of technologies and turnkey services to meet the most demanding application and regulatory challenges.

Polyzen Can Help

Rely on Polyzen’s expertise to bring your medical polymer device needs to reality.


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