Essential in the insulation of wires and cables for power and telecommunications, thermoset plastic is a thermoplastic material, which after processing and molding, is chemically modified so that the structure becomes “fixed” thermally.
These thermoset characteristics are essential when we need to work at high temperatures, such as, to coat conductors that reach 90ºC or 105ºC.
This does not mean that a thermosetting polymer can not decompose. Depending on the temperature, it can go through this process, however, it provides favorable situations to be cast or remolded. To learn more about the subject, keep reading our article!
What is a thermoset plastic?
After all, what is a thermoset plastic? It is a material whose polymer chain is linked through reticulation or cross-linking, which presents high forces of attraction. It is for this reason that decomposition only occurs at high temperatures.
Despite not being recyclable, a thermoset can be reused by reducing the size of particles, made through grinding. An example of this is old tires, which, after this processing, are used as fillers in covering asphalt and concrete.
Characteristics and properties
After understanding what is a thermoset, do you know what are the main characteristics and properties of thermosetting plastics? Resistance and durability are qualities present in this material. It also possesses resistance to chemical and mechanical processing, as well as to high temperatures of continuous use.
Furthermore, it can be flexible or rigid, having the structure reinforced with the addition of other materials, such as fiber, for example.
As we said before, thermoset plastic can be molded through various polymerization processes. Among the main ones, we highlight cold injection, compression, machining, and casting.
Among several other alternatives that exist in the polymeric market, XLPE, vinyl-ester, polyester resin, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide, and epoxy can be mentioned as an example of thermosetting plastic.
Thermosets are used in the manufacture of various products, such as fabrics, mattresses, thermal insulators, hospital articles, adhesives, tires, shoes, etc. They are even used by Polyexcel clients to cover and insulate wires and cables of the energy and telecommunication sectors.
What are the differences between thermoplastic and thermoset plastic?
The compound market has two predominant materials: thermoplastic and thermoset, but what is the difference between them? Thermoplastic contains only secondary bonds in the composition, joining the polymer chains together.
Thermoset plastic has cross-links of equal or greater force than the bonds between the carbons of the polymer chain. Therefore, the resins are thermoplastic and become thermoset only after the addition of further additives, which classifies them as a compound. The term “resin” is used when referring to pure polymers.
Because of the chemical differences between thermoset and thermoplastic, in a solid-state, the latter can become liquid and viscous when exposed to high temperatures. When cooled, the secondary bonds reach a certain level of energy, returning to solid form.
Thermoset plastic, whose chemical structures were detailed above, is not able to be remolded after a new heating process. This is because it contains strong primary bonds, which prevent the process of remolding from new heating.
Which thermoset plastic Polyexcel offers?
As a market leader, Polyexcel brings high-performance polymeric compounds to wires and cables of the energy and telecommunication sectors for nearly ten years. All our products go through a series of tests that check safety and quality.
For this, we have a high-tech industrial park and unique equipment in Brazil. We also have a complete laboratory, where our professionals research the structure and the characteristics of the compounds that are part of our portfolio.
Among our thermosets, we highlight XLPE, XLPE AT, and HEPR, one of our main products in sales. Modified with vinylsilane, this compound has an ethylenic base and may contain a modified olefinic elastomer, which offers greater flexibility, facilitating handling during electrical installation processes.
Bet on Polyexcel solutions!
After discovering the main characteristics and applications of thermoset plastic, how about checking the Polyexcel compounds? To do this, you can read a summary of each item on the “Products” tab or request a complete datasheet of each item on the Contact Us page.
If you want to continue deepening your knowledge of the polymeric compounds market and the news in the sector, check out the articles available on our blog. We have content related to the logistical and administrative processes of the industry.