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Clamshell Packaging

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Clamshells are single-use containers with hinged lids and closures that can either be constructed to be permanently sealed or to be re-closable. Typically, they are composed of plastic since, compared to cardboard or other substitutes, this material is stronger, easier to construct, and lighter, conserving energy during transportation. However, they can also be produced from recycled paper, cardboard, paperboard, and Styrofoam™. They are composed of two “shells” that are exactly the same. The shells then have tabs on one side and are linked to one another by that side. They can be closed and locked shut thanks to these tabs. They open and close similarly like real clamshells. Read More…

Clamshell Packaging Clamshell packaging is a common product packaging design that features a folded piece of clear plastic (or two pieces) with fused edges and molded or stamped faces.
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Leading Manufacturers

Greeneville, TN  |  423-638-1284

With our longstanding history of being at the top of the market we are committed to bringing our customers only the best in quality, service and reliability.

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Valk Industries, Inc. $$$

Bloomingdale, IL  |  877-273-6259

Since our founding in 1993 we have become the "go-to" source for companies who are looking to outsource their contract packaging services. We provide full turnkey packaging solutions and can source and provide all your raw materials and then manage the whole project for you from start to finish.

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Assemblies Unlimited Inc. $$$

Anaheim, CA  |  800-394-4776

For more than 40 years, Consolidated Strategy Group has been a leader in packaging solutions through stock packaging and contract manufacturing. With our expert team, we are able to provide high-quality products and build long-lasting relationships with our customers.

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Consolidated Strategy Group, Inc. $$$

Minneapolis, MN  |  612-788-4444

Established in 1987, Gamer Packaging provides customized packaging solutions for companies in the food, beverage, cosmetic, and chemical industries. Our process includes custom designs, engineering support, prototyping, and sampling. We ensure our clients are equipped for success.

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Gamer Packaging Inc. $$$

Morgan Hill, CA  |  408-782-2500

We are a contract packaging specialist meeting the needs of aerospace, consumer, electronic and industrial markets with packaging specialties-barrier and injection; dual cartridge and syringe; fill and seal; tube filling (plastic, metal); syringe filling (frozen, one part, premix); bottles; cans; jars. Call or visit our website today for more information about the products and services we offer. We would love to work with you soon!

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Andpak Inc. $$$

Glenwillow, OH  |  440-528-7100

Established in 1975, Custom Products Corporation offers contract packaging, inventory management, and packaging material solutions to manufacturers nationwide. Not only do we maintain a variety of packaging capabilities, but we assist customers with fulfillment, design, repairs, and assembly.

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Custom Products Corporation $$$
placeholder image Valk Industries, Inc. Assemblies Unlimited Inc. Consolidated Strategy Group, Inc. Gamer Packaging Inc. Andpak Inc. Custom Products Corporation

How Clamshell Packaging is Made

Clamshells are normally created by thermoforming clear plastic. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is the most often utilized material. Thermoforming involves heating thermoplastic material and covering a mold with it until it cools. In this case, the mold resembles a clam. There are different gauges (thicknesses) of plastic materials available when creating clamshell packaging and the gauge selected is typically based on the item intended to be packaged inside. Whether rolled sheets (thin gauge) or pre-cut stacked sheets are used in the manufacturing process depends on the material's thickness (heavy gauge). The disposable packaging market, particularly in retail marketplaces, is dominated by thin gauge material. After being heated, the material passes onto the forming stage, where it is forced onto the mold under pressure or under a vacuum (vacuum forming). Vacuum forming, in general, refers to all sheet-forming techniques. Greater detail and rough surfaces are produced in the final product thanks to this technique's enhanced pressure and, with the additional pressure used during the forming process, sharp corners can be produced. The forms are die-cut during the following phase in the process

Clamshell Packaging

Different procedures are employed by manufacturers to create other types of clamshell packages. Although thermoforming is typically used to create clamshells, blow molding, for example, may also be used. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) products of various grades, each with a particular function, are produced using this distinctive technique. PET is 100% recyclable, regardless of grade. But there are a number of difficulties with recycling PET thermoform containers.

Packaging Applications for Clamshells

  • Clamshells are typically used to package a variety of foods, including sandwiches, all types of pies, cookies, bread, burgers, pastries, frozen lobster tails, salads, and many more food items.
  • Different retail outlets like food carts and catering trucks use clamshells as do markets and restaurants.
  • Sometimes, clamshells made of hybrid carded-packaging materials are used to package nails, screws, and small home repair items. Also, clamshells are used for the storage of toys and other small accessories.
Clamshell Food Packaging

Benefits of Clamshells

  • Transparent: Customers want to know that the things they are buying are in the condition they were promised to be in, free of errors, defects, or tampering. Clamshell packaging is a popular choice among businesses due to its high-clarity visibility, which provides clients with the security they require. Customers who buy goods in clamshell packaging, whether they are food items or retail goods, are not left in the dark about what the goods inside look like. Instead, they can look closely at the package to make sure it meets all of their requirements. Carefully-placed cutouts can be created by packaging designers to highlight specific product features and increase product exposure.
  • Design versatility: Plastic companies are able to produce any size and shape of clamshell package one may require thanks to the wonders of thermoforming. Whether a customer requires something straightforward like a clamshell carry-out container, something intricate with a unique inside tray, or a container with many cavities for various product components, this is possible through thermoforming clamshell containers. Clamshells may be created with hanger hooks or punch holes so they can be hung for storage. They can be created to stack on one another. Customers selling their goods in a large warehouse should also consider standalone clamshells as a great packaging, storing, and shipping option. This personalized packaging not only protects items from the elements but also enhances their client appeal by making them look fresh and new.
  • High security: Clamshell packaging is not just very protective but, as discussed, is also transparent when using plastic material. Clamshell packaging is frequently used by businesses to protect expensive goods, such as cell phones and phone cases. Although clamshell packages may also have a different seal, businesses still frequently employ them in retail environments because they can shield goods from tampering from the outside. Additionally, these containers are strong enough to guard against product damage and temperature variations while being handled and sent. Clamshell packages offer the same safeguards for food goods, fostering consumer confidence by assuring them that the food is safe to consume.
Cellphone Clamshell Packaging

Drawbacks of Clamshell Packaging

  • Perhaps the biggest drawback of utilizing clamshell packages is that they are difficult to recycle. Some materials utilized to create clamshell packaging may not be recyclable or the packages themselves do not easily process at recycling centers because of their features (like the rigidity of many packages make it extremely difficult to process). Additionally, clamshell packages may become contaminated by the items they are holding and, thus, cannot be recycled.

Clamshell Packaging Informational Video


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