What is Plastic Fabrication?

Thermosetting plastics (thermosets) refer to a variety of polymer materials that cure, through the addition of energy, to a stronger form. The energy may be in the form of heat (generally above 200 degrees Celsius), through a chemical reaction (e.g., two-part epoxy), or irradiation. Thermoset materials are usually liquid, powder, or malleable prior to curing, and designed to be molded into their final form, or used as adhesives.

The curing process transforms the resin into a plastic or rubber by cross-linking. Energy and catalysts are added that cause the molecular chains to link into a rigid, 3-D structure. A thermoset material cannot be melted and re-molded after it is cured.

Thermoset materials are generally stronger than thermoplastic materials, and are also better suited to high-temperature applications. They do not lend themselves to recycling like thermoplastics, which can be melted and re-molded.



Methods used to mould thermosets

See also

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