Forming of Thermoplastics: 6 Advantages Over Thermoset Materials
The forming of thermoplastics is a niche topic that many product designers and manufacturing company owners find confusing. Yet you don’t need to understand every aspect of the forming of thermoplastics just to use them in your projects and designs. The forming of thermoplastics is different from other common thermoset plastics because they harden at room temperature and can soften or change shape at warmer temperatures. Thermoset plastics are hardened through heat curing, meaning they’re more brittle and can’t be reshaped after forming.
Regardless of what you’re designing, the unique properties of the forming of thermoplastics offer many benefits as a material for components and parts.
1. Medical Compatibility
First, the forming of thermoplastics offers a greater chance of compatibility with the human body for long and short-term medical applications. This is because thermoplastics are comprised of individual polymers that don’t chemically bond together. Instead, the forming of thermoplastics encourages other types of linked bonds between sealed particles. The result is reduced interactivity between the chemical composition of the plastic and the human body.
Many thermoplastics are used for dental appliances, long-term devices like prosthetic limbs, and even valve shunts and other products used inside the body.
2. Sustainable Forming of Thermoplastics
Are you looking for new ways to make your manufacturing process less wasteful and more environmentally friendly? Switching to the forming of thermoplastics over thermoset materials is one good way to accomplish this goal. The forming of thermoplastics is considered a sustainable practice because these materials are especially easy to recycle and reclaim.
Since there’s no chemical bonds to dissolve, recycling is as easy as heating the plastics until the bonds release and applying new forming of thermoplastics. This can be repeated multiple times before the quality of the material is affected. If there’s a mistake made during the initial forming of thermoplastics, parts are easily re-formed without special equipment or dangerous solvents that require their own disposal considerations.
3. Custom Finishes
The forming of thermoplastics gives the manufacturer a lot more control over the final finish on the surface. Depending on the material and technique, the forming of thermoplastics can create a slick and hard finish, a rubbery and slightly soft surface, or anything in between. When you need a product to bounce or have a little give for comfort, the forming of thermoplastics allows you to create that surface without a lot of extra equipment or treatment.
Adding in other co-polymers and formula changes can amplify these effects to give you any finish you want from the forming of thermoplastics. Many manufacturers choose the forming of thermoplastics for this reason alone since it’s possible to get finer details and better looking products than from thermoset plastics.
4. Better Chemical Resistance
The same features that make forming of thermoplastics so compatible with medical device manufacturing also help the materials resist other chemical effects. Chemical resistance is a main reason for choosing polymers and plastics in the first place, but only the forming of thermoplastics offers maximum chemical compatibility. This makes ABS and acrylic, two common thermoplastics, very popular for use in the automotive industry.
There are dozens of caps, wire boots, fittings, hoses, tanks, and other parts that must be in constant contact with both mechanical shocks and reactive chemicals. Choosing the forming of thermoplastics for making these parts ensures they can handle all the challenges of engine or body panel use, including chemical exposure.
5. Temperature Variation
While it’s true that all thermoplastics eventually lose form at a certain heating point, most materials available for the forming of thermoplastics are stable at surprisingly high temperatures. Nylon is commonly used for cooking tools like spatulas, while the Teflon coating used to make pans non-stick is also a thermoplastic. Just because the plastics react to a specific heat point does not mean they lack any heat resistance. Plenty of products made through the forming of thermoplastics can handle exposure to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or more, at least for short periods of time.
In contrast, thermoplastics have a much greater resistance to damage at very low temperatures. This is demonstrated through the popularity of forming of thermoplastics in the aeronautics industry, where flying high into the sky puts a negative temperature strain on plastic parts.
6. Sheer Variety
There are dozens of different individual types of materials under the umbrella of the forming of thermoplastics. Each of them offers a different balance of features and benefits. While there’s variety among thermoset plastics as well, there’s simply more diversity of options within the forming of thermoplastics. Regardless of what you need your plastic parts to do, you can likely find a forming of thermoplastics option for manufacturing it.
When you make the decision between these two types of plastics, European Subcontracting Network can help you find a supplier for either one or both. We also have the designers you need to help you refine your ideas and get your products to market with the right forming of thermoplastics and other services.