General Characteristics Of Thermosetting Polymers

Thermosetting polymers are one of three main groups of polymer materials. Specific properties of thermosetting find very important application areas in engineering and daily life. Here, we explain the general characteristics of thermosetting and some properties.

Polymer Materials: Macroscopic Properties and Molecular Interpretations

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Some applications of thermosetting.

What Are The Characteristics Of Thermosetting Materials?

The most important characteristic of thermosetting polymers is the cross-linked molecular structure. Because of this cross-linked structure, the produced products are made from thermosetting materials that have one large macromolecule. The cross-linked structure is obtained in various ways for thermosetting;

  • The production process of thermosetting polymer is done by mixing two or more chemicals. These chemicals create cross-linking between themselves that obtain a thermosetting polymer. Heat is generally used to accelerate the chemical reaction. One of the most important examples of this group is epoxies.
  • The second form to produce some thermosetting polymers is done by the addition of catalysts to accelerate the cross-linked structure creation in liquid form. Without catalysts, these thermosetting polymers stay stable for long times.
  • In the shaping processes in thermosetting, heat is supplied to melt the starting granular thermosetting material. Then the shape is given by molding at high temperatures. In solidification, cross-linkings are created.

The physical and mechanical characteristics of thermosetting that because of cross-linkings;

Illustration of cross-linkings in thermosets.
  • Thermosetting materials are less soluble in common solvents than thermoplastics, because of their cross-linked molecular structure.
  • Thermosetting materials can be used in much higher temperatures. But there is no chance to re-melt thermosetting materials because of cross-linked structures.
  • Thermosets are generally in brittle structure, there are no apparent ductile characteristics as thermoplastics.
  • Thermosets have rigidity and better mechanical characteristics than thermoplastics because of their cross-linked molecular structure. Modulus of elasticity of thermosetting materials is 2-3 times higher generally than thermoplastics.


These are the general characteristics of thermosetting polymers. Do not forget to leave your comments and questions about thermosetting polymers below. Your precious feedbacks are very important for us.

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