Thermoformers typically have not had much choice in materials for making prototype molds to test new product designs. That's changed with the introduction of Hyvac-LCM (Lightweight Composite Material) from CMT Materials Inc. (Attleboro, MA). "There has been a big gap between aluminum tooling for production and wood or MDF to make prototype molds or molds for short runs," said Conor Carlin, Hyvac Sales & Marketing Manager. "Wood or MDF isn't suitable for plastics. What we've developed is an alternative to wood with performance closer to aluminum."
Hyvac-LCM is a new composite mold material that allows thermoformers to optimize material distribution, reduce or even eliminate chill marks, reduce tool weight and simplify mold production for cut-sheet thermoforming. The product consists of a smooth syntactic outer shell easily formed over a porous inner core of composite beads. The porous core allows vacuum anywhere in the tool by drilling holes in the outer shell.