Thermoplastic is a plastic material that is soft when heated and hard when cooled. Many thermoplastics are so strong when they are cooled they are used in place of metals. Thermoplastics are defined as polymers and can be melted and recast indefinitely, making this material extremely popular for reprocessing and recycling. They can be as soft as rubber or as strong as aluminium and are used to form various shapes, depending on how they are made.
What are Thermoplastics Used for?
Thermoplastics are extremely versatile and have a variety of uses. Energy efficient in both their manufacturing and processing, thermoplastics have the added advantage of being flame-retardant and able to withstand extremely high temperatures. The list of what thermoplastics can be used for would be far too extensive for us to write here, so instead we thought we would list the common materials thermoplastics are used to make:
Thermoplastics are used extensively in the construction, education, medical, and leisure industries to name a few.
Thermoplastic Examples: The Most Widely Used Products
There are many different types of thermoplastics. So, we thought we would put together a list of the most widely used thermoplastics below.
Acrylic: this is a great alternative to glass because it is shatterproof, transparent and lightweight.
ABS: you may have never heard of this type of thermoplastic before, but it is used in many everyday objects – some of which you may have at home, including: LEGO bricks, musical instruments, canoes, and safety hats.
Polyester: this is a material many of us know and own. It is commonly found in our clothing, furniture, belts, mouse pads, ropes, and so much more.
Polystyrene: this form of thermoplastic is used for disposable materials such as DVD cases, smoke detectors, and more.
Polypropylene: this material is used in our carpets, thermal underwear, loudspeakers, bank notes, stationary equipment, and so much more. It is resistant to acids and chemical solvents, so is a very durable and long-lasting material.
Cellulose Acetate: this thermoplastic is used in eyeglass frames, photography, cigarette filters, playing cards, and more.
Teflon: another type of thermoplastic you may have heard of is teflon. Although teflon is most well-known for creating the non-stick coating on cookware, it is also used as a lubricant for machinery to reduce friction and wear and tear, in addition to increasing energy consumption.
Nylon: this is a silk plastic that is used to make fabrics such as carpets, bridal veils, and musical strings (to name a few).
The Properties of Thermoplastics
- They may melt before passing to a gaseous state
- Allow plastic deformation when it is heated
- They are soluble in certain solvents
- Swell in the presence of certain solvents.
The Difference Between Thermoplastics and Thermosetting Plastics
Although both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastics sound similar, they have very different physical properties. Thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics differ in how they react in the presence of heat. This is because they are two different classes of polymers. The main difference between the two is that thermoplastics can be remelted, while thermoset plastics remain in a permanent solid state once they have hardened. As a result, thermoplastics have a low melting point, while thermoset materials can withstand very high temperatures without losing their form.
What are the Advantages of Thermoplastics?
There are a number of significant advantages to using thermoplastics. They are extremely durable and versatile and available at high volume for a low cost. Other advantages include:
- High-impact resistance
- Highly recyclable
- Aesthetically-superior finishes
- Chemical resistance
- Eco-friendly manufacturing
- Hard crystalline or rubbery surface options
- They can be made in high volume at a low cost
- They replace metals with considerable weight savings
- Energy efficient in their manufacture and processing.
What Do TPDAL Use Thermoplastics for?
Here at TPDAL, we are proud to use thermoplastics in our playground markings for schools, councils, childrens’ centres, and so many other organisations. The reason we use thermoplastics for our playground markings is because using quality and long-lasting materials is really important to us. All thermoplastic products we use are:
- Last 8-10 times longer than paint
- Warranted for 4 years
- Available in a wide variety of colours
All thermoplastic products we use at TPDAL are long-lasting, durable, and extremely hard-wearing. After all, we want the vibrant colours of our playground markings to last so that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Browse Our Best Selling Thermoplastic Playground Markings
Contact Us Today
If you would like to find out more about the thermoplastic products we install, browse the products on our website. We have a wide range of brightly coloured thermoplastics for your space that encourage play and learning outside. With over 15 years’ experience in the playground marking industry, we can tell you that there is no material as versatile and beneficial as thermoplastic.