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Our Materials

Big Bear engineers bring extensive knowledge and experience to moulding many different kinds of materials, in all different finishes and thicknesses ranging from heavy duty, thick gauge materials to the most lightweight on the market for the aerospace industry.

We work closely with our material suppliers in refining and developing new materials to best suit the application of the part.

Materials we work with include ABS, HDPE, Polyethylene, PET, Polypropylene, Polycarbonate, TPO, LWRT and BEAREX.

Vacuum Forming


ABS provides high impact strength, rigidity, durability and good chemical resistance. Available in smooth and embossed finishes, ABS standard grades are available in an array of textures, gloss levels and colours.

These co-extruded multilayer sheets consist of thermoformable and high impact ABS with a top layer of impact modified, colour matched acrylic (PMMA).

A wide variety of standard colours are available, along with bespoke special colours including metallic effects and embossed surfaces. The advantages of PMMA/ABS include a selection of high gloss, brilliant colours, excellent UV stability and high impact resistance.

High Impact ABS is most commonly used in the automotive industry for internal vehicle parts. Colours and finishes can be matched to provide a seamless transition between the injection-moulded and vacuum-formed parts.

High Heat ABS - For high-temperature performance.

Ignition Resistant ABS - A UL94V0 classification is available for use in applications such as machine covers.

Recycled ABS - provides an option to reduce costs, in cases where high impact strength is not of extreme importance.

Soft Feel ABS has a soft look and feel and is fully vacuum-formable. Primarily used in the automotive sector, this material is now being used across other markets, and is available colour-matched in a variety of finishes.

ABS can be made virtually UV stable by the application of an ASA capping layer. ASA is a very stable outdoor polymer and when co-extruded onto ABS will also provide superior impact strength at a relatively low cost. 

ABS is also used as the substrate for a range of decorative finishes such as faux carbon-fibre, woodgrains or marble effects. These provide an attractive alternative to conventional finishes and most are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.


High-Density Polyethylene is used in automotive, leisure, food, medical and general thermoforming and fabrication markets. It is extremely durable and hard wearing, and can be modified with talc or calcium carbonate fillers to provide increased dimensional stability. Polyethylene and Low Density Polyethylene are soft and pliable whereas High Density Polyethylene is relatively hard and stiff. It has very good electrical insulating properties and is highly resistant to many chemicals, oils and petrol.


High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) offers high impact strength and is ideally suited for vacuum-forming. It exhibits great versatility and provides a cost-effective means of moulding a diversity of products in a multitude of industry sectors.


Polypropylene is for use in automotive, leisure, food, medical and general thermoforming and fabrication markets. It has high impact strength but can be prone to brittleness at very low temperatures. It has very good electrical insulating properties and excellent resistance to most chemicals. In the past Polypropylene was viewed as difficult to form but modified grades are manufactured to ensure they are able to be used for both shallow and deep draw thermoforming.


Polycarbonate and Acrylic sheet are generally clear plastics which are extruded and used as a lower cost alternative to glass. These are strong, tough materials which can be worked, moulded and thermoformed into shields, shelters, visors, guards and signage.

BEAREX – Exclusive to Big Bear

BEAR-EX™ is a gloss olefin material, which is shatterproof and crackproof down to very low temperatures. It is an ideal solution for a moulded lightweight, easy to fit protection panel.

Compression Moulding


A lightweight, reinforced, thermoplastic sheet that can be low pressure formed to the desired shape. Lightweight, superior acoustics, high strength to weight ratio and a self-extinguishing core makes this material ideal for applications such as headliners, door panel inserts, pillar trim, trunk linings and parcel shelves.

Cover Fabrics

Big Bear offers a wide range of cover materials, from hard wearing heavy-duty vinyl to luxury soft feel fabrics in bespoke colours and finishes.


The range of applications for wovens and nonwovens in modern vehicles continues to expand as they replace traditional textiles with lighter weight and more cost-effective options. Applications include Floor Carpets, Trunk and Boot areas, Parcel Shelves / Package Trays, External Wheel Arch Liners, Under Bonnet Acoustics, Thermal and NVH Scrims.

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