A critical specification for outdoor thermoforming applications is weatherability. Elements of the formed part such as color and the integrity of the part itself can be compromised when exposed to the sometimes-harsh forces of Mother Nature. Snow, sleet, rain, extreme heat or cold, and prolonged exposure to the sun can all negatively affect the formed part. As a result, concerns regarding aesthetics and design functionality become especially important when designing a part for outdoor applications because there are different variables and conditions to consider. Continue reading to learn more about how you can protect your thermoformed part from the outdoor elements.
Exposure to the climate puts both aesthetics and function of thermoformed parts at risk. While weatherable grades of plastic exist for outdoor applications, some materials and colors are more susceptible to degradation than others. Prolonged exposure to the elements can lead to issues such as color fading and brittleness of the material. Bright colors such as reds, yellows, greens, and blues, which often contain high loadings of pigment, are more likely to fade, while some transparent materials can yellow over time.
To prevent issues such as fading color and other forms of deterioration, extruders have long used films such as Korad™, which is a type of weatherable acrylic film, to protect the material from long term exposure to UV rays, visible light, moisture, heat and cold. But, there are alternative films available on the market that offer the same protection from the elements while offering a greater aesthetic appeal.
This alternative film is unique because it is a cast-extruded product, so it does not exhibit gels or die lines, which is an issue sometimes seen in blown film products such as Korad™. Because of this, the film is able to greatly enhance the appearance of extruded sheet or formed parts and can be used in a variety of colors and finishes such as clear, gloss, matte, translucent, opaque, as well as a variety of different textures.
This weatherable film is an impact modified and UV stabilized acrylic for both interior and exterior grade of capping. Extruded acrylic printable and bondable capping delivers superior color depth, surface uniformity and durability.
Utilizing our proprietary inline extrusion lamination system, Impact Plastics can laminate this film to your custom formulation of ABS and HIPS sheet or rollstock. Once the film is laminated, you are then left with a material that is UV resistant, abrasion and chemical resistant, fungus and mildew resistant, and paintable, all while delivering superior color depth, surface uniformity and durability. The weatherability of this film when applied to our extruded ABS or HIPS, makes it ideal for applications such as shower enclosures, interior and exterior automotive parts, marine and boating exterior parts, recreational vehicle components, and various other outdoor applications.
To learn more about how you can use this new weatherable film for your next outdoor thermoforming application, contact our team today!