Thermoset vs Thermoplastic
Craving something salty or sweet?
Think of thermoplastics as chocolate kisses – this small chocolate rain-drop, wrapped in aluminum foil is often found melted where you least expect it. Does this mean the chocolate is no longer edible? No, of course not! Chocolate, just like thermoplastics, can be melted and cooled multiple times without significantly altering the material's properties. Unlike thermoplastics, thermosets offer better performance under high temperatures while remaining in their permanent form. Subsequently, prolonged heat exposure could eventually lead to this material degrading rather than melting. Think of thermosets as microwavable popcorn. Once kernels are fully popped, any additional heat would typically result in burnt popcorn and unpleasant aromas.
This versatile chemistry allows for engineered materials that can meet the most demanding specifications and performance requirements. Typically, thermosets are either cast or Reaction Injection Molded (RIM), while, thermoplastics are most often injection molded. Still not exactly sure which manufacturing method is right for your design? Check out our post, cast vs. injection molding for additional information.
Lastly, there are many versions of thermoset and thermoplastic materials, including polyester, acrylic, nylon, and polyurethane to name a few. At MPC, we specialize in both RIM and cast thermoset polyurethanes to provide solid and foam shapes and customized components. The versatility of thermoset polyurethane chemistry allows us to create engineered materials to suit a wide variety of applications.