What are thermosetting plastics?


Quick Answer

Thermosetting plastics are plastics that keep their shape after initial cooling. Their polymers form complex three-dimension molecular structures the first time they are heated. The resulting cross-links between molecules prevent the plastic from going back to its original form once it hardens.

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Full Answer

Thermosetting plastics are particularly well suited for products designed to operate in hot environments because they never get soft again, no matter how often they are reheated. They are commonly used to make electrical insulators, aircraft components, auto parts and tires.

Thermosetting plastics are also referred to as thermoset plastics. Examples include polyesters, polyurethanes, phenolic resins, epoxy resins, silicones and Bakelite.

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