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BBC Bitesize plastics

View the BBC bitesize site and take a bite size test to see how much you know!

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3 minute plastics quiz!

A fantastic quiz by Warren Design and Technology. Take it and see what you know in 3 minutes!

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Thermosetting plastics DT Materials


Thermosetting plastics

Thermosetting plastics can only be heated and shaped once. If re-heated they cannot soften as polymer chains are interlinked. Separate polymers are joined in order to form a huge polymer. The main thermosetting plastics are epoxy resin, melamine formaldehyde, polyester resin and urea formaldehyde.

Thermosetting plastics


Thermosetting plastics Thermosetting plastic Properties Thermosetting plastic uses Example product
Epoxy resin (Epoxide, ER) Good electrical insulator, hard, brittle unless reinforced, resists chemicals well. Used for casting and encapsulation, adhesives, bonding of other materials. Used for printed circuit boards (PCB’s) and surface coatings. Epoxy resin
Melamine formaldehyde (MF) Stiff, hard, strong, resists some chemicals and stains. Used for Laminating work surfaces, electrical insulation, tableware. Melamine formaldehyde
Polyester resin (PR) Stiff, hard, brittle unless laminated, good electrical insulator, resists chemicals well. Used for casting and encapsulation, bonding of other materials, car bodies, boats. Polyester resin
Urea formaldehyde (UF) Stiff, hard, strong, brittle, good electrical insulator. Used for electrical fittings, handles and control knobs, adhesives. Urea formaldehyde
Phenol formaldehyde (PF, Bakelite)
A colourless polymer - coloured with artificial pigments to produce a wide range of different colours. Used for dark coloured electrical fittings and parts for domestic appliances, bottle tops, kettle handles, saucepan handles. Phenol formaldehyde

Memory tip: Remember Bets Pup!

B - Bakelite
E - Epoxy resin
T - Thermosetting
S - Shaped once

P- Polyester resin
U - Urea formaldehyde

Design and technology question time

Mr DT says 'Read the text above and then answer these questions below'. Write your answers on a sheet of paper, don't forget to write your name on the sheet!:-

1). Describe thermosetting plastics in your own words?
2). What are the properties of epoxy resin?
3). What are the uses of melamine formaldehyde?
4). What is polyester resin used for?
5). Why is urea formaldehyde used for plugs?
6). What is Phenol formaldehyde used for?

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