Polymer processing methods

Thermoplastics

Thermoplastics Processing Methods

Thermoplastics are materials which soften when heated and can then be formed whilst soft. After cooling they becoming rigid take up the applied form. The softening and forming processes are reversible. Thermoplastics are probably the most widely used type of polymer. The group includes most of the “commodity” plastics such as polyethylene, PVC, polypropylene, nylons (polyamides) and polystyrene. Not all thermoplastics can be processed by all the methods. This table is a guide to what thermoplastics can be processed by each method.

Thermoplastics Processing Methods

 

Thermosetting Processing Methods

Thermosetting materials are materials that are formed whilst warm or hot but once formed they set in the formed shape. Cooling and reheating do not make thermosetting materials go soft again. The forming process is not reversible. Thermosetting materials were the first type of polymer to be produced e.g. bakelite, but are still widely used for many applications. Typical thermosetting materials are phenol formaldehyde resins, urea formaldehyde resins, epoxy resins and most rubbers.

Thermoset Processing Methods

 

References:

Globalspec: https://www.globalspec.com/reference/47050/203279/chapter-5-thermoplastic-processing

Polymer academy: https://polymeracademy.com/plastic-processing-techniques/

 

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