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Thermoplastic - short version

A polymer that becomes soft and pliable when heated. In its plastic state it can be shaped and re-shaped by a range of molding processes, such as blow molding and injection molding. Examples polyamide (PA) nylon, polycarbonate (PC) and polypropylene (PP)

Thermoplastic - long version

A thermoplastic is a polymer that turns to a liquid when heated and freezes to a very glassy state when cooled sufficiently. Most thermoplastics are high-molecular-weight polymers whose chains associate through weak Van der Waals forces (polyethylene); stronger dipole-dipole interactions and hydrogen bonding (nylon); or even stacking of aromatic rings (polystyrene). Thermoplastic polymers differ from thermosetting polymers (Bakelite) as they can, unlike thermosetting polymers, be remelted and remoulded. Many thermoplastic materials are addition polymers; e.g., vinyl chain-growth polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene.


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