Creating plastic clamshell packaging is a process of heating thermoplastic sheet and placing it over a mold, through a vacuum, and then cooled. The material moves through the heating section into the forming section where pressure and/or vacuum forces the material onto the mold. Die-cutting takes place in the next station of the process where the final plastic clamshells are stacked or nested for delivery or assembly.
The thickness of the material determines whether the manufacturing process uses rolled sheets (thin gauge) or pre-cut stacked sheets (heavy gauge). Thin gauge material is dominant in the disposable of the clamshell packaging sector, especially in the retail markets. Heavy or thick gauge material is commonly used as permanent components in such things as refrigerators, automobiles and spas to name a few.