How to Cut and Polish HYTAC® Syntactic Foam

The K show taught us a few things about the newest developments in thermoforming machinery and tooling. The application of information technology to the thermoforming process, for example, was one interesting trend that echoes what we see in many other industries where “big data” is the order of the day. Having the ability to meter and monitor data from various sensors, gauges and scanners can help operators dial-in the process to minimize waste and optimize start-up. The ToolVu system and the Illig “Intelligent Control” system were two examples on display. We’re also working to create new parameters related to plug speeds, temperatures and positions that can be fed into these new systems.

For all the advances in technology, however, it was interesting to see how certain fundamentals are not always well-understood. We spent plenty of time talking about how to machine and polish plugs to get the best part possible. From showing people the high-helix geometry of our solid carbide cutting tools to calculating feed rates, it is clear that practical information goes a long way.

Remember that feed rate = spindle speed (RPM) x chip load x # flutes. Too low a feed rate will generate excess heat and reduce tool life. Too high a feed rate will cause poor surface finish or part movement during machining. Proper settings will result in a tool operating at or near room temperature. 

What we have developed in our machining guides needs to be passed along to machine operators and those technicians working most closely with tools and plugs. Small changes can make a big difference in both plug surface and final part clarity. Let us know how we can help.


How to Improve Material Distribution in Thermoformed Parts

Here at CMT Materials, we like to work with partners and end-users to develop practical information that can help you get more from your plugs. We recently received a summary of tooling and plug trials done by a large thermoforming company and we wanted to share it with you.

This mini case-study is only 1 page, but it clearly illustrates why our new XTL syntactic foam is quickly becoming the plug material of choice.


We hope you enjoy it. As always, send us your comments, thoughts or application notes.

CMT Materials Exhibits HYTAC at ProPak Indonesia

The 2013 ProPak tradeshow will be in Jakarta, Indonesia this week. CMT will be there to showcase HYTAC syntactic foam plug assist materials, especially XTL, and to meet toolmakers and thermoformers from around the region. Southeast Asia is a fertile ground for thermoforming as evidenced by strong growth in packaging markets according to Euromonitor International. In fact, at the AMI Thin Wall Packaging Conference earlier this year, Euromonitor reported 6% CAGR in retail unit volume growth from 2007-2012. Asia, and Indonesia in particular, is clearly the fastest growing market for retail plastic packaging of which thermoformed cups and trays play a signifcant part.

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Remarkable Thermoforming in Indonesia

Remarkable Indonesia” is the slogan developed by the Indonesia Investment Trading Board to promote this country of 246 million. After spending several days in Jakarta (pop. 14MM), we can attest to some remarkable facts about the local market for thermoformed packaging.

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