Trelleborg Launches Range of Castable Thermoforming Plug Assist Materials

Trelleborg, of Sweden, a provider of engineered polymer solutions that seal, damp and protect critical applications in demanding environments, has announced that its applied technologies operation is launching a range of castable Syntac® thermoforming plug assist materials for manufacturing of thermoformed food, beverage and pharmaceutical packaging. The Syntac® range of materials are designed specifically for fabrication of plugs and other associated tooling used in thermoforming manufacturing, where the plastic substrate is molded over the plug using pressure forming, to create a thin-gauged thermoformed usable end product.

Syntac® CIS (Core Industrial Solutions), Syntac® HTS (High Temperature Solutions) and Syntac® STS (Strong Tough Solutions) offer high performance, high quality solutions that are easier to machine and faster to hot-swap than alternative materials. By casting the plugs instead of machining, customers can reduce the amount of wasted material and save time by removing the need for CNC-machining or outsourcing for those customers without access to in-house CNC-machining.

Kerry Lyons, business development manager for Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in Rochdale, England, states that the Syntac® range of materials have been specifically developed to meet the changing needs of our customers. They are available off the shelf with shorter lead-times than previously offered, with manufacturing taking place in the company’s UK facility.

Syntac® plug assist materials are available as cast, sheet or bar systems, requiring no specialized tools to machine or finish. Suitable for use up +220°C, the new Syntac® materials offer improved material distribution, enhanced clarity and consistent, reliable repeatability. Customer specific inserts can be pre-fitted by Trelleborg to provide a hot-swappable component option, supporting the easy attachment of the plugs to either the ceiling or bed plate of the manufacturing equipment.

Lyons points out that the new Syntac® materials have been engineered to be lightweight, durable and tough, offering a cost-effective alternative solution to traditional materials. Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in Rochdale is able to offer additional value-added services to customers including cast to shape and CNC machining options to further support customers.

Trelleborg’s Syntac® CIS and Syntac® HTS materials are made from high-grade epoxy resin and hollow glass microspheres (HGMS), with Syntac® STS made from a novel thermoset polymer matrix.

Thermoformed packaging such as drinking cups, food containers and pharmaceutical packaging are formed using plug assisted pressure forming. Syntac® plug assist materials are designed to require minimal finishing with an A-class surface finish, resulting in greater repeatability, optimized material distribution and increased plug life.

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