Thermoset vs. Thermoplastic: What’s the Difference?

Thermoset vs. Thermoplastic: What’s the Difference?

Injection molding is an incredibly customizable process. When you use it, you can take on any shape and detail you wish. This procedure is among the most effective at producing perfect replicas of your first design every time you use it. However, injection molding doesn’t just allow you to make products to your exact specifications—it also works with a series of materials. These are the differences between thermoset and thermoplastic and how to decide between them for your next project.

Thermoset Materials

To begin, thermoset materials (such as polyester and silicone) consist of polymers that cross-link together during curing. This process forms a permanent chemical bond that strengthens the resulting product. Because of this, thermoset substances are immune from remelting when exposed to heat and make a great option for high-temperature applications. However, it’s important to mention that these products can’t get remolded after the fact, meaning that you can’t recycle them into other things when they’ve served their use. They’re also more difficult to surface finish and have a very basic look.

Thermoplastic Materials

Thermoplastics like polyethylene don’t have a lasting chemical bond. As such, they can reshape given the right high-stress conditions. This trait also makes them more accommodating to low-stress tasks. Thermoplastics offer a series of additional benefits such as shrink resistance and flexibility. Therefore, they’re much more versatile and durable in the right environments. These materials are incredibly recyclable and have various surface finishes as well, making them an eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing option.

How To Choose Between Them

Now that you’re familiar with the differences between thermoset and thermoplastic, it’s important that you know how to pick between them. The decision should come down to your exact needs for your application. If the component will need to withstand high-stress and demanding conditions, such as high heat, thermosets are the better choice. But, if you only need basic protection from dirt and water, thermoplastics make superior multi-purpose products.

At Polymer Molding, we aim to provide each of our customers exactly what they’re looking for. We carry all you could ever need to keep your equipment protected from the elements, from standard caps and plugs to specialized electrical connector caps. We also offer custom injection molding services to ensure the parts you order work with your desired application, no matter how unique the dimensions are. Give us a call today to learn more about our ordering and engineering methods.

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Polymer Molding Inc.
1655 West 20th Street
Erie, PA 16502

Phone: 814.455.8085
Toll Free: 800.344.7584
Fax: 888.257.5566

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When you call Polymer Molding Inc. during normal business hours, your call will be answered by a live person, every time. It is our sincere commitment to lead the market in exceptional customer service, because you deserve to do business with a company that truly cares about you and your product needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and helpful sales and customer service representatives will take the time to help you select the best parts for your applications at the most competitive prices in the industry. We are here to answer questions, process your orders, and prepare your shipments quickly and efficiently. Click the button below to compare our pricing and see the Polymer Molding difference.

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