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Plastic Trays

A reliable source for Plastic Trays information and leading Plastic Trays Companies & Suppliers.

Plastic trays are very important in domestic and commercial use for storing food products and keeping them clean from contamination. Each tray is different, so its manufacturing process depends on its size, shape, and purpose. Plastic trays are also valuable for transporting materials from one place to another because they are light and easy to stack. Read More…

Plastic Trays Plastic trays are shallow platforms with raised edges intended to stop contents from sliding or rolling off of the surface. Designed for transport, display, storage and organization, trays are popular in manufacturing plants, implicated in both assembly and packaging processes.
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Leading Manufacturers

Greeneville, TN  |  423-638-1284

Valk’s policy is “to meet or exceed our customer’s requirements, working together as a team with honesty and integrity.” Valk’s success is due to their long standing focus on quality & customer service.

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Valk Industries, Inc. $$$

New Milford, CT  |  860-354-0885

For over 40 years, Conlet Plastics has been a leader in vacuum forming. They serve a wide variety of industries including medical, airline, automotive and signage, with high-quality products that are reasonably priced & delivered on time.

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Conlet Plastics, Inc. $$$

Lake Bluff, IL  |  847-604-5100

Since 1960, Profile Plastics Inc. has been at the forefront of thermoforming technology. Utilizing the latest software and technology, our expert staff of engineers can design custom vacuum, pressure, and twin-sheet thermoformed solutions. Over the last 60 years, we have developed a process that allows us to deliver consistent, high volume, and precise products with superior quality. Our high quality products are manufactured with great attention to detail. ISO 9001:2008 certified.

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Profile Plastics, Inc. $$$

Stirling, NJ  |  908-647-3500

Engineered Plastic Products custom forms & fabricates sheet thermoplastic materials, standard & specialized, for any number of industrial & commercial requirements. EPP has been widely recognized for outstanding manufacturing & service since 1958 for companies such as GE, NASA & AT&T. Custom fabricated parts can be as large as 72"x108" down to 2"x2" in any thickness up to 1 1/2". Post-forming includes all types of machining & assembly.

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Engineered Plastic Products, Inc. $$$

McSherrystown, PA  |  717-633-6333

Founded in 1986, SAY Plastics is a plastics processor specializing in OEM thermoforming. Our state-of the-art facility, located in South Central Pennsylvania, houses the latest manufacturing technologies. From our computer controlled forming equipment and our vacuum molding capabilities, to our brand new high speed CNC Routers, SAY Plastics has the tools for your next project. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure quality service every time.

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SAY Plastics, Inc. $$$

Danville, IL  |  (844)865-1669

Greenwood Plastics Industries is an industry leader has been a leader in vacuum formed plastics for many years. We believe in relationships that can produce smart productivity. You give us the idea, and we will help you choose the best materials, process and timeline to make a high quality and profitable product. We are also committed to earth friendly-green solutions. Recycling as much as possible has been a company initiative for year and we are taking big steps at reducing our carbon footprint.

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Greenwood Plastics, Inc. $$$

Coleman, MI  |  877-465-4055

Robinson Industries offers thermoformed and injection molded reusable, heavy duty plastic pallets, packaging and more. We are one of the largest suppliers of reusable pallets to many industries.

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Robinson Industries $$$
placeholder image Valk Industries, Inc. Conlet Plastics, Inc. Profile Plastics, Inc. Engineered Plastic Products, Inc. SAY Plastics, Inc. Greenwood Plastics, Inc. Robinson Industries

Plastic trays are very important in domestic and commercial use for storing food products and keeping them clean from contamination. Each tray is different, so its manufacturing process depends on its size, shape, and purpose. Plastic trays are also valuable for transporting materials from one place to another because they are light and easy to stack. A good plastic tray is lightweight and can be used for long-term, heavy-duty use. Many different types of plastic materials are used for making plastic trays, and all serve different purposes.

Plastic Trays

Plastic Materials used for Plastic Trays

The five types of plastic material used for manufacturing plastic trays are:

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

  • This plastic has a high resistance to stains, scratches, and breakage.
  • It can tolerate temperatures from 0 °F to 180 °F (-17.8 °C to 82.2 °C).
  • It is a durable material and is safe to use in dishwashers.
  • These trays are not suitable for use in microwaves.
  • ABS trays are cheaper than other material trays, and due to their durability, they are widely used in restaurants.


  • Melamine is the oldest plastic material used in tray making.
  • It is a durable and stain-resistant material that can tolerate temperatures from 0 °F to 212 °F (-17.7 °C to 100 °C).
  • It is not suitable for microwaves but is safe for dishwashing.


  • Polycarbonate has low scratch resistance, moderate stain resistance, and high breakage resistance.
  • Polycarbonate material offers a greater range than melamine and ABS.
  • It is a safe material for dishwashers and microwaves.
  • It can tolerate temperatures from 40 °F to 212 °F (4.4 °C to 100 °C), making it good for freezers and high temperatures.


  • Polypropylene is also among the oldest materials and gives moderate breakage and scratch resistance.
  • Polypropylene also offers high stain resistance. Its temperature tolerance is from 32 °F up to 180 °F (0 °C to 82.2 °C).
  • It is microwaveable and safe for dishwashers as well.


  • Co-polymer material has high stain, breakage, and scratch resistance.
  • It is microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
  • The temperature tolerance for this material is 40°F to 212°F (4.4 °C to 100 °C).

Manufacturing Process of Plastic Trays

For manufacturing plastic trays, the plastic pallets are first heated and poured into molds to make trays of desired shapes. Three types of processes are used for making plastic trays, which are:

Injection Molding

  • The materials used for making plastic trays are thermosetting polymer and thermoplastic.
  • The plastic pallets are melted and mixed in hot tanks.
  • These melted pallets are then injected into the molds shaped as trays.
  • The molds used in this process are mostly made of aluminum and steel.
  • The trays made from this method are flat, spacious, and supple.

Extrusion Blow Molding

  • The plastic is melted and compressed in a hollow tube called a parison.
  • The melted plastic is then poured into cooled metal molds, which are closed.
  • Air is blown into the cooled mold to cool down the plastic and cause it to take the shape of the mold.
  • The trays made from this method are bigger and can withstand high and low temperatures.
  • It is the quickest, easiest, and most time-saving method.
  • The trays made are durable and rigid but expensive.

Vacuum Forming

  • It is the oldest and a common method for plastic manufacturing.
  • The plastic sheet is melted to the point that it is only smoothened.
  • This smoothened plastic is then placed on the mold that is in the shape of a tray.
  • A vacuum is applied to the mold to remove any air particles and cool down the plastic.
  • After that, the plastic tray is removed from the mold.
  • This method needs heavy machinery but it is affordable as compared to other methods.
  • There will be an uneven thickness if the vacuum is not applied evenly to the mold.
Vacuum Forming Trays

Applications of Plastic Trays

Plastic trays are used in numerous industries as food containers in cafeterias, restaurants, homes, offices, etc. Plastic trays are also used in the electronics industry to pack and arrange products. The medical industry also uses plastic trays for packing equipment. Furthermore, plastic trays are used in the transportation industry to transport and conveniently stack products. Finally, the automotive industry uses plastic trays to arrange different products in one place.

Applications of Plastic Trays

Plastic Trays Informational Video


Plastic Molding Processes

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