Research firm Transmit Technology Group LLC of Arlington, Texas, has developed a table-top thermoforming machine that can compare the thermoformability of various resins.
The machine - which is two feet long, 18 inches high and weighs about 25 pounds - has been used hundreds of times in testing polypropylene, polystyrene, PET and other resins for a pair of TTG clients, President Amit Dharia said.
Dharia added that the machine is fully functional and can thermoform 500 grams of resin into a 6-inch-by-6-inch sample, allowing processors to measure the effects of force and temperature on a material.
A commercial version of the machine will be available in March and is expected to sell for about $18,000. By comparison, Dharia said full-scale tests of a single material can cost a processor as much as $30,000. The machine will be marketed to research labs, compounders and thermoformers.
TTG is a 3-year-old research company that offers full testing lab and machining services.
The firm will have the machines produced by an outside manufacturer.