Difference between Thermoplastic and Thermosetting plastic

Thermoplastic VS Thermosetting plastic

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Whenever we hear the word plastic we all have a similar opinion we don’t think whether it is thermosetting plastic or thermoplastic. They both seem to be similar but they are a quite lot of things about Thermoplastic Vs thermosetting plastic. The applications and properties of both are different. Understanding the performance of the Difference between Thermoplastic and Thermosetting plastic is useful in making better designing and sourcing decisions.

What is Thermoplastic?

A thermoplastic refers to a plastic polymer material that may become mouldable or flexible at a specific temperature. The solidification of thermoplastic happens upon cooling down. But, the relative molecular mass of thermoplastics tends to be high.

Thermoplastic VS Thermosetting plastic

Applications of Thermoplastics

In polluted, acidic, environments like could also be found in modern cities, steel piping systems are often prone to rust or corrosion and so need special provisions for corrosion protection. The price related to protecting steel piping systems that are exposed to those harsh environments is often expensive. Thermoplastics are considered to be a positive substitute to reduce these costs.  Certain properties of thermoplastics that make them an acceptable substitute material are

  1. Their ability to resist corrosive materials and corrosive environments.
  2. Being able to hold materials of utmost temperatures (hot or cold).
  3. Their capacity to handle virtually any variety of fluid transport applications.

Common materials accustomed to produce these pipes are PVC or CPVC. Materials also include polypropylene, PVDF, ABS, nylon, and polyethylene. Polyethylene gas tanks are used to transport natural gas to be used in residential and commercial applications.

Other common applications for thermoplastics include high-pressure polyethylene to encapsulate rigid objects like electrical equipment. Low-pressure polyethylene is extremely elastic and ideal for insulating electrical cables. Polyamide is most typically related to the assembly of ropes and belts.

Advantages and drawbacks of Thermoplastics

The primary advantage of thermoplastics is their big selection of applications. Thermoplastics consist of high-strength, lightweight materials and have relatively low processing costs. Thermoplastic components are relatively easy to manufacture with high volume and precision.

The primary disadvantage of using thermoplastics rather than materials like metal is their relatively low freezing point. Certain styles of low-quality thermoplastics can melt when they’re exposed to the sun for extended periods. Thermoplastics can have poor resistance to organic solvents, hydrocarbons, and polar solvents.

Thermoplastics are liable to creep, which occurs when the fabric stretches and weakens under exposure to long-term stress loads. Some varieties of thermoplastics, like composites, can fracture rather than becoming deformed under high-stress conditions.

What is Thermosetting Plastic?

It refers to a polymer that becomes rigid in an irreversible manner on the application of heat. Furthermore, such material can even be called a thermosetting polymer or thermoset. These have materials have polymers that, during the curing process, cross-link together so on form an irreversible chemical reaction.

Thermoplastic VS Thermosetting plastic
Thermosetting plastics

Application of Thermosetting Plastics

Thermosetting plastics offer an enhanced high-performance combination of thermal stability, chemical resistance, and structural integrity. Thermosetting components are used extensively in an exceedingly wide selection of industries and are used for applications within the automotive, appliance, electrical, lighting, and energy markets due to excellent chemical and thermal stability together with superior strength, hardness, and moldability.

Thermosetting plastic materials are capable of meeting the specifications of a large range of production materials at an awfully low cost. This helps for an assortment of small and huge parts to be fabricated with high production volume while maintaining their repeatability consistently from batch to batch. Thermosets provide an alternate process when complex and geometric shapes can not be achieved through metal fabrication or the utilization of thermoplastics but may be manufactured in an exceeding mold. Thermosetting plastics maintain their stability in all environments and temperatures.   

check about the Difference between Metallic and Non-Metallic Minerals

Advantages and drawbacks of Thermosetting plastics

The use of thermoset plastics incorporates a number of benefits. Unlike thermoplastics, they keep their strength and shape even when heated. This makes thermosetting plastics well-suited to the assembly of permanent components and enormous, solid shapes. These components have excellent strength, and can not lose significant strength when exposed to higher operating temperatures. 

These have gained in popularity from manufacturers, who have switched to their use as a lower-cost replacement for metal components.

The low initial viscosity of materials leads to a flash and therefore need for secondary operations. Also, low strength and ductility tend to lead to parts that need designs with thick walls. The compounds utilized in thermosets are reactive systems, which might impact the useful period. Batch processes may exhibit greater variation and less consistency from lot to lot.  High levels of some filler within the materials may lead to excessive tool wear. The product quality relies upon the degree of crosslinking established during the molding cycle2

Thermoplastic VS Thermosetting plastic

Thermoplastic Thermosetting plastic
A thermoplastic refers to a plastic polymer material that may become mouldable or flexible at a specific temperature. A thermosetting plastic refers to a polymer that becomes rigid in an irreversible manner on the application of heat.
Can be moulded and reshaped Cannot be moulded and reshaped.
effect of heat
Softens on heating Do not soften on heating
Expensive Cheaper
Recyclable Not recyclable
Soft and weak Hard and strong
It is used in making toys, combs, and various containers. It is used in making handles of cooking utensils.
Polythene and PVC bakelite and melamine


Both Thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics are polymers, but the applications of both are different. Thermoplastics are recyclable but thermosetting is not recyclable. So we need to choose accordingly to the usage.



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