If you need to use a plastic coating on parts or products, then you must choose whether to go with a thermoset or thermoplastic solution. While thermoplastic coatings work well in certain circumstances, there will be times when thermosetting is a better option. How do thermoset coatings work and what are the benefits of using them?

How Does Thermoset Powder Coating Work?

Powder coatings are used to create outer layers of plastics on other materials. They are either sprayed, dipped, or baked on. While both thermoset and thermoplastic products do the same job, they react differently during the application process. For example, a thermoset coating doesn't just cover the material, then dry and cure. During the coating process, the powder goes through a chemical reaction.

This powder is made up from shorter molecules than a thermoplastic powder. These molecules collect together as they cure. They link to each other and bond tightly. So, they don't just coat but create their own structure around their underlying material.

What Are the Advantages of Using Thermoset Coatings?

The main advantage of using a thermoset powder is heat resistance. The chemical reaction that happens during the coating process turns the plastic into a type of polymer. This substance is far better able to cope with hot conditions than a thermoplastic. Thermoplastic coatings don't chemically bond. So, if they are exposed to heat, then the plastic might melt or lose some of its shape. As well as compromising the coating's integrity, it could also pose problems with the material it covers.

This isn't an issue with a thermoset plastic. This is particularly useful if you are coating products or parts that have to operate in a hotter environment such as electronics. You get a coating that will hold its shape and structure more effectively.

This chemical reaction and the enhanced bond create a stronger and more robust coating even when you need to keep the coating thin. Thermoset products are typically harder and more stable. They won't degrade or break down as easily as thermoplastics. Plus, they are less likely to corrode or to be affected by environmental or chemical exposure. You'll typically find that thermoset coatings work out cheaper than thermoplastics. If you need to keep your costs low or want to buy in bulk, then this could be the most cost-effective solution for you.

To find out more about thermoset coatings and whether they are the best option for your needs, contact powder coating specialists and ask for advice.