Project at a Glance

End Product
Truck Fascia
Thermoforming lightweight composite truck parts

Thermoforming Creates Composite Truck Parts that Look Great and are Lightweight

Lightweight Thermoformed composite truck facia for the transportation industry

Profile Plastics thermoformed a new composite into shiny, lightweight truck fascia that looks like chrome.

Parts manufacturers who serve the trucking industry want to use materials that reduce vehicle weight without compromising strength or visual appeal. When a manufacturer wanted to replace heavier truck fascia with lighter weight components, the company turned to Profile Plastics for help.

Challenge: How do you thermoform a new material with quality and consistency?

The truck fascia on tractor trailers travel thousands of miles under tough road conditions. Steel truck parts are strong, but the weight they add reduces vehicle fuel economy or battery range. Designers can choose strong, lightweight composites instead, but new materials can pose processing challenges.

For example, applying a paint-film over thermoplastic olefin (TPO) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) requires specialized parameters. Truck fascia need to be free from haze and have a high-gloss appearance, but variances in heat and draw ratio can affect visual appeal. They can also thin walls for reduced strength.

Lightweight Thermoformed composite truck facia for the transportation industry

Solution: Choose a thermoformer who goes the distance. 

Profile Plastics developed strict processing parameters to thermoform TPO and ABS truck fascia with a proprietary paint-film. The parts manufacturer chose us because of our expertise in thermoforming challenging materials and developing specialized equipment, but that’s not the only value they received.

The equipment that Profile developed and the process control that we used kept the paint-film from stretching, which would have resulted in cosmetic defects. Profile also measured and controlled color, gloss, and haze for truck fascia with a high-gloss, chrome-like appearance.

When the parts were completed, we added value by drop shipping them to our customer’s customer. For truck parts with Class A surfaces, it’s important to package them properly to avoid damage during shipping. Of course, keeping parts hand and ready to ship is also part of a complete supply chain solution.

Thermoformer who goes the distance

Keep on Trucking

Strong, lightweight parts are just some of what you can expect when you choose the right thermoformer for tough projects. By working closely with Profile Plastics, the truck parts manufacturer was able to use a new composite that met requirements not just for cosmetics, but also for strength and weight.

Are you looking for a better way to get the thermoformed parts that you need?

Tell us about your project. We’re ready to help.