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Kydex® Plastic - Thermoforming Sheets

Superior formability, fabrication and tooling quality makes Kydex® the best choice for countless projects: Kydex® can be thermoformed, post formed, brake formed and laminated. Provided by Interstate Plastics.

Kydex® Overview

Using standard tools, Kydex® thermoforming sheets can be drilled, vacuum formed, brake formed or punch pressed.Kydex® is a machinable thermoplastic that can be molded to form fit just about any shape imaginable without expensive tools and machinery. Kydex® can reduce the number of individual parts needed in many applications, thereby reducing assembly costs.

Kydex® applications range from aviation and transit interiors, medical equipment and building interiors to furniture and fixtures. A very popular use for Kydex® involves thermoforming gun holsters and knife sheaths, for which many customers have found various applications for at-home Kydex® vacuum forming solutions, described on this page below.

Kydex® can be used as protection from electrical shock and has multiple equipment housing applications for tools such as electrical welders that require durability and high impact strength.

Kydex® is very easy to clean: tough stains, scuffs, and graffiti can be gotten rid of using strong cleaners with no staining or surface damage to the material. Kydex® sheets are also available with fire ratings of ul94v-o and 5v. Kydex® is used by the orthopedic industry for braces.

No other thermoplastic sheet stands up to impact, scratches, and gouging like Kydex®.

[Kydex Spec Sheet PDF]

  • Among the most rigid of thermoforming materials as demonstrated by its high modulus of elasticity
  • Available in multiple gauges from .028"
  • Distinctive cell texture 
  • Multiple colors available
  • Cost effective
  • Effective for pressure forming
  • Meets 94 V-0 requirements
Kydex® Applications

Applications range from gun and knife holsters and sheaths; medical equipment to housings and aircraft trays, tables and fixtures.

  • Gun holsters and knife sheaths
  • Thermoformed equipment housings
  • Flat laminated panels of all types
  • Kick plates and push plates
  • Exhibits and kiosks
  • Aircraft, bus, automotive, and train interior parts
  • Membrane pressed components
  • Work stations
  • Pedestals and stands
  • Furniture components
Bending and Vacuum Forming Kydex®:

Bending and Forming:

Kydex® can be easily cut to size by scoring and cutting sheets with a razor or similar knife.

The only absolute requirement for bending and forming Kydex® is heating the sheet until soft, when the material becomes formable. Heat guns and toaster ovens have proven the best DIY method for our customers. A microwave creates heat through resonating water molecule frequency, therefore it will not work for Kydex® , as there is a lack of moisture in the material.

Kydex® must not exceed 400F, and forms best between 330F and 350F for thicknesses 0.060" or smaller. Thicknesses up to 0.125" form better around 350F to 385F. The most frequent problem is trying to heat the sheet too quickly, particularly on the primary surface; heat should be applied slowly. Ideally the core sheet temperature should be within 10F of the surface temperature.

Some sheets may heat up faster or slower than others. Overlapping sheets may stick together.

Kydex® can then simply be placed over or around the item to be contained, and pressed until cool. This process could involve a shop press, using plywood to keep an object between two Kydex® sheets in place, or a top weighted enclosure press (e.g. an MDF press).

Although Kydex® may seem firm and hardened sooner, at least 10 hours should be allowed for cooling.

Vacuum Molding Process:

The vacuum molding process uses vacuum pressure to suck the Kydex® down and around a mold or part. Vacuum tables are required and vary in price and size from large industrial vacuum tables, to small shop tables, and even ones easily made at home.

Customers have found success creating their own vacuum tables by attaching an aluminum pan with drilled holes to a piece of plywood. A hole is in cut into the plywood to allow a shop vacuum to be inserted. The bottom of the pan (now facing upward) creates a surface the mold is placed on. The vacuum pressure will pull heated Kydex® over and around the placed mold or object.

The finished product must be left to firm and harden for at least 10 hours.

Physical Properties of Kydex®
General Purpose
Specific Gravity
Tensile Strength
6100 psi
Elongation at Break
Flexural Strength
9100 psi
Modulus of Elasticity
320 ksi
Izod Impact, Notched
10 (ASTM D-256)
Heat Deflection Temp.
Forming Temp.
Mold Shrinkage

*Values listed are typical and are meant only as a guide to aid in design. Field testing should be performed to find the actual values for your application.

Prop 65 Warning WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Vinyl Chloride, CAS 75-01-4, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to

Product Title
Product Description
Kydex® is a thermoforming material with many colors, textures, and patterns.
Kydex® T Sheet - Calcutta Black
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Kydex® T Sheet - Polar White #62000
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Kydex® Pre-Cut 1x1 ft. Bundles
Pre-Cut to Size 2x4 ft. Kydex® Thermoforming Bundles
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Kydex® T Sheet Sheet - Olive Drab
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Kydex® T Sheet - Beige #72005
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Kydex® T Sheet - Ivory #62015
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12x12" Samples of ABS, Styrene, Acrylic, Polycarbonate, Kydex®, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Expanded
Thermoforming Material Sample Pack

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Phone: (888) 768-5759
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