A thermoplastic is a class of polymer that can be softened through heating and then processed using methods such as extrusion, injection moulding, thermoforming and blow moulding. Thermoplastics harden once cooled and do not show any changes in chemical property after being heated and cooled multiple times. In general, thermoplastics have a number of advantages and disadvantages:
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are copolymers or compounds that deliver thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. TPEs exhibit thermoplastic characteristics above their melt temperatures, which allow them to be shaped into fabricated articles. When used within their design temperature ranges, TPEs show elastomeric behaviour without cross-linking during fabrication. In addition, this process is reversible, meaning that products can be reprocessed and remoulded.
The plastics pyramid below gives a general overview of the types of polymer and their properties. Every application has unique material characteristic requirements for temperature, strength, cost and more. Before a thermoplastic polymer can be used it is normally mixed with additives, such as stabilisers, plasticisers, lubricants, flame retardants and colourants, to improve the polymer’s functionality, stability or appearance. For example, stabilisers are added to reduce degradation due to sunlight or heat and plasticisers can be added to increase the mobility of amorphous chain segments, lowering the glass transition temperature and decreasing brittleness. Graphene and related nanomaterials are additives that offer a broad range of multi-functionality to thermoplastics. Versarien are experienced in the compounding of nanomaterials and other additives into thermoplastics to achieve the desired properties.
High density polyethylene (HDPE)
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA)
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) (ether-based)
Polyether block amide (PEBA)
Poly aryl ether ketones (PAEKs)
Polygrene-MF1105 - polypropylene (PP) macrofibres for concrete reinforcement
3D printing filaments for fused deposition modelling (FDM)
Electrically conductive compounds for applications such as EMI shielding
Thermally conductive compounds for applications such as thermal management