Issue Date: May 19, 2014
Thermosets Built To Break Down
If plastics had personalities, thermosets would have a reputation for being strong and stubborn. Unlike thermoplastics, which make up water bottles, strawberry containers, and other recyclable plastics, thermosets can’t be remolded with heat or chemicals. Once hardened, a thermoset is locked into its shape because of chemical cross-linking. This makes thermosets useful in applications where the plastic will encounter high temperatures or harsh chemicals but also means thermosets can’t be recycled. So they ultimately wind . . .
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