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What is a thermoplastic resin?

asked 2016-05-10 20:33:48 -0500

Conrad_Marr gravatar image

What is a thermoplastic resin?

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answered 2016-05-28 19:07:10 -0500

updated 2016-05-28 19:37:54 -0500

Thermoplastic polymers are high molecular weight, long chain molecules which can either become entangled (amorphous) such as polycarbonate, or partially crystalline, such as nylon, at room temperature to provide strength and shape. They typically must be heated to create a viscous fluid which can then be reinforced with fibers, and are then cooled again to form a net shape. Most composites do not use thermoplastic resins, but it is possible.

By Todd Johnson Composites/Plastics Expert:

Thermoplastic Resins

Thermoplastic polymer resins are extremely common, and we come in contact with thermoplastic resins constantly. Thermoplastic resins are most commonly unreinforced, meaning, the resin is formed into shapes and usually have no reinforcement providing strength.

Examples of common thermoplastic resins used today, and products manufactured with them include:

PET - Water and soda bottles, Polyproplyene - Packaging containers, Polycarbonate - Safety glass lenses, PBT - Children's Toys, Vinyl - Window frames,, Polyethlene - Grocery bags, PVC - Piping, PEI - Airplane armrests, Nylon - Footwear.

Many thermoplastic composite products use short discontinuous fibers as a reinforcement. Most commonly fiberglass, but carbon fiber too. This increases the mechanical properties and is technically considered a fiber reinforced composite, however, the strength is not nearly as high or comparable to continuous fiber reinforced composites.


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Asked: 2016-05-10 20:33:48 -0500

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Last updated: May 28 '16