Benefits of Thermoplastic Resins

Benefits of Thermoplastic Resins

Thermoplastic Resins

Thermoplastic composites are known for their versatility as they possess the ability to reform. This is interesting because when a thermoplastic composite is heated it undergoes a physical change, not a chemical change. Whereas a thermoset resin for example cannot be reshaped as it forms an irreversible chemical bond during the curing process. The ability for thermoplastic to be reshaped becomes especially useful when we assess the recyclability of different composites. While we are on the topic of environmental friendliness it should also be noted that thermoplastic resin manufacturing is generally eco-friendlier than the manufacturing of other composites.

Another point we should look at when analyzing the benefits of thermoplastics is their ability to handle a high level of impact. In fact, thermoplastic resins can handle up to 10 times more impact than their thermosetting resin counterparts. The benefit of having such a high impact resistance becomes clear when you look at applications thermoplastics are used in such as motorcycle helmet visors, bulletproof vests, and airplane windows.

Thermoplastics also offer the benefit of being resistant to chemicals. This makes thermoplastic resins a great choice for applications such as vinyl siding, drainpipes, and gutters. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a great example of a thermoplastic that is highly resistant to acids and bases, hence why it is used so widely in plumbing and construction.

Here are some examples of common thermoplastics that showcase their versatility across an array of applications:

Acrylic: Acrylic is a great substitute for glass but it doesn’t stop there. Acrylic can be used in applications from aquariums to replacement eye lenses.

Nylon: Nylon is perfect for use as a clothing material as it belongs to a class of polymers called polymides. It can be found in fabrics, carpets, and rope. It is also used to make mechanical parts such as gears and screws.

ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene): ABS is a widely used thermoplastic due to its lightweight and impact resistant properties. You can find ABS being used in objects such as children’s toys and consumer appliances.

Polyethylene: Polyethylene describes a family of similar thermoplastics. They vary based on density and molecular structure. Some uses of polyethylene are milk jugs, grocery bags, saran wrap, milk jug caps, and outdoor furniture.

Polypropylene: Polypropylene is useful for products such as microwave and dishwasher safe containers, ropes, carpets, and storage bins. The only downside to polypropylene is that it’s not as impact resistant as polyethylenes.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): As mentioned above, PVC is great for applications in the construction industry. You will find PVC in most basements as its most common application is piping.

As you can see, no matter your application there is a thermoplastic that is ready to do the job. With advances in thermoplastic technology occurring constantly we can expect the potential of them to continue to grow.