Whether you want something that can be opened with one hand or something that requires scissors, the clamshell could be the packaging design for you.

Clamshell packaging is everywhere, from the hardware store to the salad bar. This is because clamshells are so versatile—they can be formed to provide tamper-evident security, or very little security. It all depends on what your product is and how you want the consumer to access it—or not access it. 

Hinges and Closures

A feature that often makes clamshell packaging so unique is also where it gets its name: these containers can open and close like a clam. This is because they may be formed by the plastic manufacturer to include a hinge mechanism. Because it opens and closes, this package also needs a closing mechanism. The strength of the closing mechanism depends on the product that is going inside the package, because in some cases, it is prudent to create a package that easily pops open.

Thermoforming and Sealing

The packaging design of a clamshell doesn’t necessarily have to allow for easy opening and closing—in fact, it may not be hinged at all. For example, clamshells are often seen in the packaging of small, valuable items, like cell phones and memory cards. Manufacturers use plastic thermoforming to mold the package around the product, creating a strong, tight seal that is generally impenetrable by human hands. This type of packaging is sealed around the edges, so that the only way to open it is with scissors or another type of sharp instrument. This provides the type of security you need for smaller items that would otherwise be targeted for theft.

The type of sealing you choose is also influenced by the product’s placement within the package and how you want it to display on the shelf for consumers. For example, the thermoforming process can incorporate practical design elements, like hang holes for hanging the product on a store hook.

To learn more about how clamshell packaging can accommodate products across industries, contact Plastic Ingenuity today.