Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Powder Coating Cure Process: Thermoset vs Thermoplastic

There are two broad chemical categories for powder coatings: thermosets and thermoplastics. Though they sound similar, they have very different properties and applications.

The primary physical difference is that thermoplastics can be re-melted back into a liquid, whereas thermosets always remain in a permanent solid state.

Thermoset Curing Process:  
Thermosets contain polymers that cross-link together during the curing process to form an irreversible chemical bond. The cross-linking process eliminates the risk of the product re-melting when heat is applied, making thermosets ideal for high-heat applications such as electronics and appliances.

Thermoplastic Curing Process:  Thermoplastic pellets soften when heated and become more fluid as additional heat is applied. Since no chemical bonding takes place, the curing process is completely reversible. This characteristic allows thermoplastics to be remolded and recycled without negatively affecting the material’s physical properties.

Each material has its appropriate time and place for use. Thermosets are well established in the market, frequently have lower raw material costs, and often provide easy forming to final part geometries therefore being easier to process. Thermoplastics tend to be tougher, can have better chemical resistance, and are more easily recycled and repaired.

For additional information on powder coatings, visit our website at
tcipowder.com. Feel free to contact us today to have someone with our experienced team answer your powder coating questions or to see how we can help you with your powder coating needs.

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