Line bending is a process which uses a strip heater (line of heat) to assist in the bending of plastic into various shapes, to produce a three dimension part. This process allows us to easily fold the plastic and this process is quite common when there is a need to replace a heavy sheet metal part with a lighter weight plastic part. In many cases the new plastic part can be made to look the same as the metal part or can offer extra properties that metal can not. These extra properties can be physical like offering some needed flexablilty of softness to cosmetic, such as being transparent as well as textured, colored, non conductive.
Cold Forming is similar to that of line bending except that heat might not needed to produce the bend. The flexability of the plastic being bent and if a scoring impression is added into the plastic trim to help facilitate easier bending in the needed areas allow one to use the cold forming process. With the correct plastic materials a cold formed part can be manufactured at minimal costs however, its fold stregth and bend retention are not as great. Often we incorporate a small amount of heat into a score areas of a coldformed type part to increase these strengths while using less heat cylce times.
Die cutting and CNC machining are both used for these presesses, depending on the gauge of plastic being used and the complexity of the trim.
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