Thermoplastics vs Thermoset Plastics in Product Development

We wanted to clear up a common confusion in the world of plastics, in particular, the difference between thermoplastics and thermoset plastics.

At a very basic level, thermoplastics can be melted and cured repeatedly indefinitely without degradation. Thermoset plastics can only go through this process one time, or you risk burning the plastic when you attempt to melt it down again. Think of thermoset plastic like an epoxy, which is liquid prior to setting and once it dries it can not be melted down again.

Injection moulding for thermoplastics and thermoset plastics
Both plastics can be safely shaped using injection moulding methods, however, thermoplastics are less wasteful during this process. In thermoset plastic injection moulding, there is a high probability of plastic particles getting stuck and cooling as it passes through the tubes and entry points before it gets to the mould cavity. This produces waste product that can’t be remelted and used again.

When using thermoplastic materials in injection moulding, any product that cools and hardens in the injection moulding machine can easily be remelted and added to a future batch. The plastic is scraped off, ground into tiny particles and used again. This not only eliminates waste but can contribute to lower costs for the consumer as less product is wasted when making their product.

Our favourite plastic material is thermoplastic and we specialize in extruded thermoplastics. Compare the properties of some of our favourite thermoplastics and contact us for a quote or if you have any questions about which thermoplastic is best suited for your project.

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