Adhesive (Thermosetting) - What is a thermosetting adhesive?
A type of adhesive that is irreversibly changed by the curing process. Thermosetting polymers become pliable above a certain temperature, which allows them to be moulded into the required form before they are hardened into a solid via a curing process (they are usually cured using heat, although radiation can also be used – both processes may or may not use pressure). Where thermoplastic polymers can be re-melted and re-shaped, however, thermosetting polymers undergo a chemical reaction during curing, which causes crosslinks to form between the individual chains of the polymer, producing a material that will deform (rather than melt) if it is re-heated after the curing process has taken place. Compared to thermoplastic adhesives, thermosetting adhesives tend to be stronger (due to the presence of crosslinks), have better dimensional stability, are better suited to high temperature applications, and are more cost effective, although they also tend to be more brittle. They are also infusible and insoluble and offer good resistance to creep.Go Back to Glossary