Compounding technology for Thermosets

Thermosetting plastics, also known as thermosets, are plastics that become rigid and nondeformable after hardening. They are one of the three different groups into which polymers can be divided – thermoplastics, elastomers and thermosets – according to thermosetting degree of the macromolecular chains. While thermoplastics have no cross-linking thermosetting points and are therefore fusible, elastomers and thermosets are thermosetting, not fusible, and disintegrate if the decay temperature is exceeded (pyrolysis).

Bakelite, a phenoplastic, was the first thermoset to be industrially produced at the beginning of the twentieth century. Bakelite was invented by Leo Henricus Baekeland a Belgian-American chemist.

Thermosets are rigid vitreous polymer materials three-dimensionally cross-linked by chemical primary valency bonds. The bonds are created when preliminary products chemically react with molecular chains, either at room temperature with the help of catalysts, or thermally activated at high temperatures. The extremely high thermo-mechanical strength of thermosetsprovide excellent electrical properties and exceptional resistance to chemicals due to their high cross-linking density, but also places high demands on thermoset compounding technology.