Vacuum Formed Fridge Door

APHollings received an initial enquiry to produce fridge door fronts in acrylic capped ABS. These large fridges are to be used industrially in hot climates to keep antibiotics and other medicines at a safe temperature.

The first stage of the process was to review the customer drawing and suggest revisions to the dimensioning layout that would help the vacuum form tool design and forming of parts. Their drawings were revised and a CAD file supplied. From the file a blocked up block of MDF was set up on one of our CNC to machine complete.

The tool size 1,45m x 0.85 was mounted onto a board to suit the tool frame of our biggest vacuum form machine. After forming the first order requirement, it was noticed that the MDF tool was showing signs of wear. Therefore the decision was made to cast the tool in aluminium, this would require a casting pattern. APH was established in the late 1940s’as a pattern maker, so the skill base allowed the pattern to made in house by hand.

Once cast the tool was fettled and sand blasted to leave a good surface finish. Before mounting to a backing board the tool was vented using a very fine drill. The production vacuum forming will continue with no degradation of the tool.