CGP Europe. is manufacturer and supplier of syntactic foam and other innovative tooling materials for the thermoforming industry. High quality, industry proven products combine with experienced recommendations to optimize the performance of any thermoforming tool. Customers can rely on in-stock, immediate shipment availability of most products or call on us for custom sizing and manufacturing to meet their most challenging demands.
Plug Assist Materials – Working directly with thermoformers, tool makers and machine builders, the CGP Europe plug assist family of products allows our customers to utilize the right
material for their specific part and sheet application. The proper plug material
is associated with material distribution, elimination of mark-off and chill lines,
elimination of thin areas, faster cycle times, better part clarity, improvements
in haze and gloss, better part strength and less material and energy usage.
All products are available in rod, sheet and block, in a wide variety of
sizes. See the photo gallery for a variety of customer uses for Syntactic Foam Plug Assist products.
Plug assist materials used today typically fall in to one of three categories:
Thermoset Syntactic Foam (also referred to as Epoxy Syntactic or Epoxy Composite) – this class of syntactic foam is a homogeneous blend of microspheres and special epoxy binder system, resulting in a low thermal conductivity plug. The term thermoset refers to the fact that this class of materials takes a “set” shape or form when cured. Variation of the epoxy and microsphere size/type allows the creation of a wide variety of materials for different surface characteristics and/or use at different service temperatures.
Thermoplastic Syntactic Foams provide the benefits of low thermal conductivity syntactic plugs in an easily machined, highly durable thermoplastic base that will withstand the most abusive production environment. Machinists generally prefer thermoplastic plug materials as they may be machined at speeds up to three times faster than epoxy based materials.
Solid Polymer Plastics are easily machined and polished but do not provide the temperature resistance and material distribution qualities of syntactic foams. Solid polymer plug assists are generally limited to short production runs or very specific application requirements.
HYVAC® is a fast and economical way to hold contoured parts in place during a trimming or assembly operation. It is also gaining popularity as a quick and easy-to-use go/no-go QC fixture to check formed part sizing. HYVAC is provided as a three-part kit of resin, catalyst and fiber reinforced spheres easily mixed by the customer and poured into a formed part or other mold. Following an overnight room temperature or low temperature oven cure, the fixture is removed from the part/mold and ready for use. Vacuum may be pulled directly through the material to provide an effective hold down fixture that may be installed on an automated or manual router system.
REN Shape® Tooling and Modeling Board. Vacuum formers and thermoformers use these products as prototype and low volume production molds when forming in applications where metal molds do not make sense due to time or cost considerations. CGP can help in selecting the proper board material for specific forming applications considering factors such as surface quality, ease in machining, tool durability, and forming temperature. See our Comparison List for details on all available REN Shape products.
METAPOR® is a composite material consisting of two major components. Different granules, such as aluminium or ceramic materials, and binders are currently used in thermoforming tools. The material is air-permeable over the entire surface, due to its micro-porous structure. In contrast to sintered materials, the pores are not closed off after machining. The numerous advantages are useful in the Thermoforming industry as well as for vacuum clamping and air cushion devices. Design flexibility is enhanced because micro-vents are an integral part of the complete surface. The material‘s inherent properties eliminate the need to design and manufacture complex venting systems. For ideas, see the METAPOR photo gallery.