What Is Thermoforming?

Blue and white Closys packaging


VacuformVisualizationWhen it comes to plastic packaging, most people do not give a second thought to the innovative detail that goes into the production process. Yet the effectiveness, convenience and sustainability of a clamshell package are very closely related to the process of producing plastic parts, also called thermoforming. Traditional clamshell packages in addition to the sustainable trapped blister are different types of thermoformed packaging. Below, learn about thermoforming and eco-friendly thermoforming solutions.

What Is Thermoforming?

Thermoforming is a cost-effective process that involves producing plastic parts for sheets of plastic, forming the plastic into specific shapes and molds using varying degrees of temperature and pressure. For high-volume thermoforming, large production machines work at high speed to continually form and trim thousands of plastic parts per hour. These parts are used for various applications, including packaging solutions for nearly any product and industry. The types of materials used for thermoforming include PVC (polyvinyl choloride), PET (polyethylene teraphthalate) and RPET (recycled PET).

Types of Thermoformed Packaging

  • ClamshellsThe traditional clamshell package is a common type of thermoformed packaging that utilizes an all-plastic design and is often sealed with snap fit closures, buttons or heat. Clamshells are often formed with harmful materials such as PVC, and many people know clamshells as hard-to-open packaging that leads to “wrap rage” and even injury. The excessive use of plastic increases waste, while creating a glare under store lights that can result in an unappealing shelf display.
  • Trapped Blisters:The trapped blister is a sustainable packaging solution that uses a minimal amount of RPET trapped between corrugated cardboard. The RPET is thermoformed to fit the shape and design of varying products, making it a versatile type of package that is both cost-effective and sustainable.

The Eco-Friendly H-Loc

The majority of the H-Loc Trapped Blister’s construction consists of mainly corrugated cardboard, the most recycled material on the planet, with a just a minimal amount of plastic, making the trapped blister an extremely eco-friendly packaging solution. RPET is made from PET, which is collected and recycled from used water and soda bottles. This reduces the need to produce thermoformed packaging with materials such as PVC, which can be harmful to the environment and consumers. Soy- and water-based inks and adhesives that leave no sticky residue on trapped blister packaging allow for a simpler separating and recycling process on the consumer’s end.


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