Thermosets vs Thermoplastics
Thermosets vs Thermoplastics
Thermosets vs Thermoplastics: Have you ever looked at a Switchplate and been like, “Hey, what’s the deal with this thing?” Well, worry no more! We’re here to give you the lowdown on Switchplates – specifically those made of Thermoplastic Nylon. Let’s explore why these are not only the best choice for Laser Engraved and Paint-Filled Switchplates, but also why they offer a number of advantages over Thermoset Plastics and metals such as Stainless Steel.
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For Starters, Thermoplastic Nylon Switchplates are incredibly lightweight yet strong enough to withstand heavy wear-and-tear. Thermoplastic Nylon has both amorphous and crystalline microstructures when cooled, which is a fancy way to stay the material gains elasticity as well as rigidity and stiffness after it is heated and then cooled. Additionally, Nylon Switchplates can be Custom Painted in almost any color imaginable, making them great for branding purposes.
Both Thermosets and Thermoplastics are types of Plastic, but each offers different advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why Thermoplastic Nylon Switchplates are an excellent choice for hospitals, federal buildings, government offices, schools, and universities- all because Nylon is Thermoplastic! Let’s dive into the argument: Who Will Win: Thermosets vs Thermoplastics?
What Is Thermoplastic/Nylon?
There are quite a few materials that are considered Thermoplastics, including Nylon, Acrylic, Teflon, and many more. Thermoplastic is a type of Plastic that becomes malleable when heated but returns to its original state when cooled. Thermoplastics can be melted down & reshaped multiple times without losing their physical properties. They do not form chemical bonds when curing, making them remouldable, recyclable, sustainable, and “green,” unlike Thermoset Plastics, which form chemical bonds when they cure. Thermosets are not recyclable or sustainable.
The unique characteristics of Thermoplastics make Nylon an ideal material for Laser Engraving Switchplates, as we can precisely control the temperature of the Engraving process and mold the material into any shape or size. Thermoplastic Nylon is lightweight, yet strong enough to withstand the rigors of Switchplate Engraving and Paint-Filling. Also, it has excellent electrical insulation properties making it well-suited for use in electrical applications such as Switchplates.
Thermoplastic Nylon is exceptionally durable and able to withstand extreme temperatures (-60°F to 300°F) without cracking or fading and is resistant against heat, oil, abrasion, and chemicals. Nylon is resistant to fire – UL 94V0 rated – perfect for use in high-traffic areas such as federal buildings, government offices, courthouses, schools, and universities! Thermoplastic is also non-porous; It’s easy to clean and disinfect, making it an excellent choice for sterile medical facilities and hospitals as well! So if you’re looking for a material that is highly durable, easy to clean, and can be Laser Engraved with precision, Thermoplastic Nylon is the way to go!
Comparison to Other Materials
Thermoplastic Nylon offers some clear advantages compared to other materials, such as Thermoset Plastic, Stainless Steel, and other metal Switchplates. Thermoset Plastics are generally cheaper than Thermoplastics but lack their durability; they often crack when subjected to extreme temperatures, vibrations, or pressure. Stainless Steel Switch Plates may be more durable than Thermoplastic Nylon and Thermoset Plastic. Still, the higher cost of Stainless prevents it from being used in many applications. Stainless Steel plates are great but much more expensive to Customize, Paint, or Engrave; Thermoplastics such as Nylon allow for much more affordable yet precise Engraving and Paint-Filling options.
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What about Thermoset Plastics?
* Thermosets vs Thermoplastics *
In contrast to Thermoplastics, Thermoset Plastics cannot be melted or reformed after their initial molding process. This makes Thermoset Plastics less ideal for certain specific applications such as Laser Engraving or Paint Filling because these processes require heat, damaging the material itself.
Additionally, Thermoset Plastic Switchplates are not as durable as those made from Nylon because they do not have the same impact resistance qualities as Nylon. Because they form chemical bonds when they cure and their chemical composition changes permanently after heating, Thermoset Plastic cannot be remoulded and is much less heat-resistant. They are also quite challenging to surface finish compared to Thermoplastics.
How Does Stainless Steel Compare vs
Thermosets vs Thermoplastics?
Stainless Steel is another material we use to create Switchplates; However, it is more expensive than either Thermoplastic or Thermoset Plastic and has more limited customization capabilities due to its hardness and must be Engraved with state-of-the-art equipment like our giant lasers here at Laser Engraving Pros.
Stainless Steel offers less protection against electric shocks due to its very high conductibility, especially when compared to either type of Plastic, making it an inferior choice for electrical applications in particular, such as Switchplates. Laser Engraving Stainless can also lead to corruption over time, so Engraved Stainless Steel is not a good choice for outdoor or long-term applications, like in the case of Switchplates.
This is because Laser Engraving Stainless removes an essential protective layer of the metal: The “Stainless” part of “Stainless Steel.” In fact, any method whatsoever that digs markings on the surface (deep or shallow), such as Laser Engraving will remove this thin protective layer composed of Chromium Oxide. That is why many of our Engraved metal products are Anodized. In other words, we finish them with a protective layer of Anodic Oxide, which is durable and corrosion-resistant as well as Decorative. But Anodization involves more materials, equipment, and time, so it adds cost to the final product.
When fabricating Switchplates for Hospitals, Federal Buildings, Government Offices, Schools, and Universities, there’s no better choice than Nylon! With its lightweight yet strong structure and excellent electrical insulation properties, you can rest assured that your Custom Engraved Switchplate will hold up under any conditions while providing exceptional protection against electric shocks due to its ability to resist heat and temperature changes better than other materials like Stainless Steel or Thermoset Plastics. So if you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-clean, low-maintenance, affordable, and reliable option with plenty of Customization options, look no further than our range of Custom Engraved Nylon Switchplates! Contact us today to learn more!
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