A thermoplastic is a plastic that softens when heated and hardens again when cooled. Thermoplastics can generally go through many melt/freeze cycles with no appreciable chemical change, making them suitable for recycling. These characteristics also lend thermoplastics to various manufacturing techniques; injection molding, thermoforming and welding.
Most thermoplastics are polymers which contains linear polymer chains with covalent bonding within chains. Occasionally they have some covalent bonds linking chains together, but mostly the chains are joined through weak dispersion forces and more rarely dipole-dipole and hydrogen-bonding forces. These Thermoplastic Polymers are usually contrasted with thermosetting polymers, which cannot go through melt/freeze cycles.
A partial list of thermoplastics:
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Cellulose acetate
- Ethylene vinyl alcohol, (E/VAL).
- Fluoroplastics, (PTFE), (FEP, PFA, CTFE, ECTFE, ETFE).
- Liquid Crystal Polymer, (LCP).
- Polyacetal, (Acetal).
- Polyacrylates, (Acrylic).
- Polyacrylonitrile, (PAN), (Acrylonitrile).
- Polyamide, (PA), (Nylon).
- Polyamide-imide, (PAI).
- Polyaryletherketone, (PAEK), (Ketone).
- Polybutadiene, (PBD).
- Polybutylene, (PB).
- Polybutylene teraphthalate, (PBT).
- Polycarbonate, (PC).
- Polyektone, (PK).
- Polyetheretherketone, (PEEK).
- Polyetherimide, (PEI).
- Polyethersulfone, (PES).
- Polyethylenechlorinates, (PEC).
- Polyimide, (PI).
- Polymethylpentene, (PMP).
- Polyphenylene Oxide, (PPO).
- Polyphenylene Sulfide, (PPS).
- Polyphthalamide, (PTA).
- Polysulfone, (PSU).
- Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene, (ABS).