Thermoformed Plastics Solutions Blog

Material Makes the Difference in Thermoforming

Posted by McClarin Plastics on Sep 29, 2015 1:49:00 PM

Thousands of thermoplastic products are on the market today, making it difficult to choose a specific material for your next manufacturing project. This leads many companies to use the same option repeatedly, but they can be missing out on major benefits of other material types or putting mission-critical parts at risk of failure.

Material selection can give you the strength, flexibility, and resolution that you need to outperform your competitors. Whether you’re building aircraft windshields, food containers, or are planning to take on the iPhone, the materials you pick for your thermoforming can make or break your success.

Let’s look at some of the top materials that to consider for your next custom thermoforming and manufacturing work with us here at McClarin Plastics.


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the tougher materials available for thermoplastics manufacturing. It has a high impact resistance and can withstand exposure to a wide range of chemicals, high temperatures, and moistures.

Where you’ll find it:

Top areas you’ve come across ABS include industrial protective cases, electronics enclosures, cars and recreational vehicles, instrument panels, and even the protective cases for consumer goods.


If you need a lightweight material that can maintain its color and structure in consistent weather exposure, acrylic is a top choice. It also keeps a great look and feel under constant fluorescent lamp exposure.

Where you’ll find it:

You’ve touched and seen acrylic thermoplastics in the inside of your airplane, on medical devices, lenses, outdoor signs, and exteriors on transportation devices.


High-Density Polyethylene works great in areas where you need increased resistance. HDPE has a high strength-to-density ratio and is resistant to many solvents. It’s also approved for food contact applications.

Where you’ll find it:

HDPE likely touches many products you’ve used in your home’s kitchen. It’s commonly found in food storage, agricultural pipes, potable water storage, and things like fuel tanks and sporting goods.


Glycolized Polyethylene Terephthalate, known as PETG, provides a rigid or semi-rigid barrier that’s good at keeping moisture at bay. It’s also resistant to solvents and impacts while remaining mostly transparent.

Where you’ll find it:

PETG is a common thermoplastic that’s used in medical devices, machine guards, industrial components, hand tools, and car parts.


Nothing withstands impact quite like polycarbonate material. With high impact resistance, top clarity, and good temperature resistance, this thermoplastic can withstand a lot but is prone to scratching.

Where you’ll find it:

You may see polycarbonate in tough situations such as serving in aircraft components, car parts, construction materials, skylights, and components for appliances and electronics.

Learn More Today

If you want to obtain the best results in thermoplastics and thermoforming, it all comes down to materials. Get the right materials for any application by contacting McClarin Plastics.