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What are Thermoset Resins?

Quick overview of thermoset resins

Thermoset resins (or “thermosets”) are a type of polymer. Thermoset resins undergo a permanent chemical reaction known as curing to form a solid structure. They are also known as thermosetting polymers, resins or plastics. Fully cured themosets are rigid, typically insoluble solid materials of high mechanical strength and high temperature stability. In contrast to thermoplastics, thermosets cannot be melted and remolded to other shapes after curing.

What industries use them?

Thermosetting resins enhance the thermal stability, chemical resistance, and structural integrity of products. Thermoset components are used in automotive, appliance, electrical, lighting, and energy markets due to excellent chemical and thermal stability along with superior strength, hardness, and moldability.

Thermoset plastic composites can meet the specifications of a wide range of production materials at a very low cost. Their use allows for an assortment of small and large parts to be fabricated with high production volume while maintaining their repeatability consistently from batch to batch. Thermosets provide an alternative process when complex and geometric shapes cannot be achieved through metal fabrication or the use of thermoplastics but can be manufactured in a mold. Thermoset plastics maintain their stability in all environments and temperatures.

Specific types of thermoset resins:

  • Polyurethane resins
  • Production-grade resins
  • Crystal-clear casting resins
  • Elastomeric resins
  • Silicone rubber resins
  • FDA grade plastic resins
  • Rigid plastic resins
  • Low-shrink casting resins

Analyzing the chemical composition of resins

The chemical composition analysis of these types of resins is critical throughout the supply chain. Many laboratories turn to Pyrolysis-GC/MS, because it enables thermoset samples to be analyzed in solid form.

To learn more about this application, check out our application note “Analysis of Thermoset Resin Using Pyrolysis-GC/MS”.

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