Atomic and Molecular Structure

Thermoplastic Polymer, Properties, Types, Features


The thermoplastic is basically a Thermo softening plastic. It is a type of plastic polymer material that converts into pliable or moldable form.

The conversion in its form occurs at certain elevated temperature. It solidifies over after cooling.

Specifications of Thermoplastic

Most of them have a higher molecular weight. The polymer chains associate with the help of the intermolecular forces. However, they become weak rapidly because of the change in temperature.

At this stage, it might reshape and becomes usable for producing parts by various polymer processing techniques. Some of them are compression moulding, injection moulding, extrusion and calendaring.


These are different from thermosetting polymers which make irreversible chemical bonds during the process of curing.

Thermosets doesn’t melt while heating, but they typically decompose and don’t reform upon cooling.

On the above, it is a glass transition temperature and below, it is a melting point. The physical properties of a thermoplastic change at a huge level without any involved phase change.

Some of them do not totally crystallize below the glass transition temperature. Retaining a little or all of their amorphous characteristics.

Amorphous and Semi-Amorphous Plastics

The amorphous and the semi-amorphous plastics come in use when high optical clarity is a compulsion, as the light scatters strongly by the crystallites larger than its wavelength.

Amorphous and semi-amorphous plastics are not much resistant to chemical attack and environmental stress cracking because they lack a crystalline structure.

Brittleness decreases with the addition of plasticizers. This increases the movability of the amorphous chain segments for effectively lowering the glass transition temperature.

Modification of the polymer through the copolymerization process or through the addition of some non-reactive side chains to monomers before the polymerization can also reduce it.

Before the employment of these techniques, plastic automobile parts might crack when exposes to the cold temperature.

These are linear or slightly branched lengthy chain molecules capable of repeating the softening on heating and hardening while cooling.

Features of Thermoplastic

It is the only plastic that we can melt. When we heat it to a temperature of 120 to 180 degrees Celsius, thermoplastics gets pasty or liquid, and they are capable of moulding and forming it into different shapes.

Each type has its own specific properties, characteristics, and welding temperature. They can withstand many heating and reshaping, that makes them recyclable. Once the thermoplastic cools down, then the new form is set.

Types of Thermoplastic

Types of thermoplastics consist of polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene (PS) that comes in use for packaging. Other groups of the thermoplastics are acrylics, polyesters, polyimides, fluoropolymers, and nylons.

All these types have a property of melting down many times and re-shaping in multiple forms. For example, a foam cup is a thermoplastic material that has the capability of changing into a dish by heating.

Properties of Thermoplastic

Nylon is a thermoplastic that is self-lubricating and resists abrasion. Often it comes in use for making ropes, fishing line and the zippers.

Acrylics are usable for the making goggles, lenses, and the windows because of their transparency and impact strength.

Polyethylene is very tough and strong and tends to resist impact, and so it comes in use for making buckets and toys.

PVC is a very less expensive plastic, generally visible in the floor tiles, hose pipes and some cable coatings as well.

Benefits of  Thermoplastic

These are also useful as a replica of metal, due to their strength, rigidity and impact resistance, along through their lightweight quality.

Certain flame-retardant substances are added to thermoplastics to make them fit in the safety requirements during the construction of aircraft and rail cars.

Solved Question for You

Ques. Thermoplastics are formed by:

(A). Addition polymerization.

(B). Copolymerization.

(C). Condensation polymerization.

(D). Isomerism.

Ans. (A). Addition Polymerization.

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