Thermoplastic vs Thermosetting

When it comes to the difference between thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic the main difference is that thermoplastic materials typically have low melting points, allowing them to be easily remoulded and recycled while thermosetting is true for thermosetting plastic. They can withstand and once hardened cannot be reformed or recycled even with the heat.

Thermoplastics vs thermosetting:

  • Thermoplastics are made through a process known as addition polymerization, whereas thermosetting plastics are made through a process known as condensation polymerization.
  • Injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding, thermoforming, and rotational moulding are all methods of processing thermoplastic. While compression moulding is used to process thermosetting plastic, reaction injection moulding is used.
  • Thermoplastic plastic has a low melting point and high tensile strength, whereas thermosetting plastic has a low melting point but high tensile strength.
  • Thermoplastic can easily soften on heating and hardening on cooling, while thermosetting cannot be softened on heating. 
  • Thermoplastic plastics have secondary bonds between molecular chains and are held together by strong cross-links, whereas thermosetting plastics have primary bonds between molecular chains and are held together by strong cross-links.
  • Thermoplastic has a lower molecular weight than thermosetting plastic, but the latter has a higher molecular weight.
  • Thermoplastic is linear or slightly branched long-chain polymers, while thermosetting plastic is cross-linked or heavily branched.
  • In desired shapes, thermoplastic is quite soluble, whereas thermosetting is insoluble in organic solvents.
  • Thermoplastic examples: polythene, polystyrene, polyvinyl. while the thermosetting examples bakelite, urea-formaldehyde he resins, etc.
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