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Polymer Science and Technology, Third Edition by Joel R. Fried

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Chapter 9. Thermoplastics, Elastomers, & Thermosets

As discussed in Chapter 1, polymers may be categorized as plastics (thermoplastics or thermosets), fibers, or synthetic rubber. Of the total synthetic polymer production in the United States, commodity thermoplastics account for the largest share of the market. Thermoplastics are followed by fibers (see Section 8.2), synthetic elastomers, and thermosets. The most commercially important thermoplastics include polyolefins (i.e., polyethylene and polypropylene), PVC, and the styrenics (e.g., PS, HIPS, SAN, and ABS). The principal feature of both thermosets and conventional elastomers that distinguishes them from thermoplastic materials is the formation of a network structure upon fabrication. This ...

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