Thermoplastics is the umbrella term for a number of different types of plastic. Thermoplastics are usually supplied in the form of pellets (granules) or powder. Thermoplastics become soft when heated. This softened plastic can then be pressed into a certain shape and subsequently cooled. This can be done by injection moulding. Following the relatively fast cooling process, the product is dimensionally stable. All kinds of shapes can be created with thermoplastics using this method – just about any product or component you can think of.

Types of plastics

Thermoplastics are widely used in the injection moulding plant. We’re familiar with a range of thermoplastics, each with different properties. PVC, PMMA, PVAC, PS and PC are amorphous plastics. With the exception of PC, these plastics are usually hard and brittle. Crystalline plastics mostly have an ordered structure. This group includes PE, PP, PVDF and PTFE. Would you like to know more about the thermoplastics that we at Wicro often work with? Take a look at types of plastic.

Blue Dots

‘Thermoplastic’ means that the plastic can be reshaped when heated. A plastic raincoat is a good example of this. It is supple in warm weather, but becomes stiff and rigid when it’s cold. Thermoplastics can be divided again into amorphous and crystalline thermoplastics:
Amorphous thermoplastic
This plastic has a disordered structure, also known as an amorphous structure. Amorphous thermoplastics are easy to glue and can be reshaped when warm in a wide range of temperatures. When such a plastic is heated, the chains become more mobile and they detach from each other. The plastic can then be reshaped. When the plastic cools down again, the chains become less mobile and the material hardens again.
Crystalline thermoplastic:
The word crystalline here has nothing to do with the word crystal. Crystalline in this context means ‘ordered’ or ‘regular’. Crystalline plastics are usually tough, impact-resistant plastics with good resistance to chemicals, which are difficult to glue and difficult to heat mould. They are, however, easier to weld. Thermoplastics can be welded once they have been heated to the plastic or thick liquid state. The plastic parts are pressed together with a certain amount of force, causing the macromolecules of both materials to intertwine. The force of physical bonding causes the two materials to form a whole.
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Marcel van Spijk

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