Thermoforming Race Car Mirror Assemblies – Precision Plastics

Thermoforming Race Car Mirror Assemblies

Vacuum forming, is a simplified version of thermoforming, is where a sheet of plastic in various forms like HIPS (High impact polystyrene) ABS and HDPE, plus various other types of vacuum formable materials, is heated to a forming temperature, stretched onto a single-surface mold, and forced against the mold by a vacuum. This process can be used to form plastic into permanent objects such as turnpike signs and protective covers. 

Race car side mirror assembly

One of our customers came to us asking if we could make side view mirror assemblies for his race car. Fenders and bumpers might be the parts of a racing car that get the most damage, so it makes sense that side view mirrors also rank high in the damaged parts category. So, we chose to use High Impact PolyStyrene (HIPS) which is a hard and solid plastic, that it is often used in products that endure high impact, such as automotive instrument panels and bicycle components. It is also lighter weight than other plastics, is more cost effective than other plastics, and its tensile strength makes it a perfect fit for racing car parts.


The Process

Our thermoforming machine takes plastic sheets that are fed from a roll or from an extruder into a set of indexing chains that incorporate pins, or spikes, that pierce the sheet and transport it through an oven for heating to forming temperature. The heated sheet then indexes into a form station where a mating mold and pressure-box close on the sheet, with vacuum then applied to remove trapped air and to pull the material into or onto the mold along with pressurized air to form the plastic to the detailed shape of the mold. After a short form cycle, a burst of reverse air pressure is actuated from the vacuum side of the mold as the form tooling opens, commonly referred to as air-eject, to break the vacuum and assist the formed parts off of, or out of, the mold. Once removed from the mold, our team carefully trims the part to customer specifications and allows the part to finish cooling.


What can we make for you?

Food packaging, wheelchair guards, glasses cases and plastic panels and containers are our specialty but we’re open to just about anything. Small batches or bulk orders, we can match prices across the country.

Contact Sales Specialist Brandon Cobarrubias at 559-323-9595 for a quote.