Thermoforming and injection molding are two distinct processes in the manufacturing industry, each with its unique characteristics and applications.

Thermoforming is a process that leverages plastic plates and sheets as raw materials. The core principle involves using a vacuum forming method to soften the plastic plates and sheets affixed to a concave mold or punch mold when heated. The thermoforming mold then deforms and fits into the mold cavity to produce the desired product. Given the low pressure during molding, the mold material predominantly consists of cast aluminum or non-metallic materials. The advantages of thermoforming include a relatively simple structure, low cost, and short production cycle. A single mold can produce products of varying materials and thicknesses, including single-property materials and plastic composite materials synthesized from multiple materials.

On the other hand, the primary process of injection molding involves first heating and melting the plastic in the heating barrel at the base of the injection machine. Driven by the machine’s screw or plunger, the plastic enters the mold cavity through the machine’s nozzle and the mold’s pouring system. The plastic then cools and hardens to form, and upon demolding, finished products are obtained. The manufacturing materials typically involve plastic mold steel modules, with commonly used materials including carbon structural steel, carbon tool steel, alloy tool steel, and high-speed steel. The production cycle is longer and the cost is higher, often exceeding ten to dozens of times the cost of thermoforming.

Understanding these differences between thermoforming and injection molding is crucial for selecting the appropriate manufacturing process based on the specific requirements of a project, thereby optimizing production efficiency and product quality.