Best Thermoplastic and Thermosetting Polymer Materials for Manufacturing

Best Thermoplastic and Thermosetting Polymer Materials for Manufacturing

Polymers as Your Material of Choice

Choosing the right materials for your design project is an integral part of the development process. This choice is significant if you plan on using polymers, as the type of polymer you choose will have a marked impact on all phases of product design. Selecting the right materials is necessary from a production standpoint. The early selection of a polymer will help you prove your designs in a virtualized CAD environment, saving you valuable resources.

When choosing a manufacturing service provider, note their ability to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of polymers and their most appropriate use cases. Our Seattle, WA based engineering team will carefully review your product specifications to determine the best thermoplastic and thermosetting polymer materials for manufacturing. Pacific Research Labs accomplishes this in three simple steps:

  • We examine your requested design specifications and collaborate with you to make concisely targeted design refinements.
  • Our experienced engineers use the resulting collaborative design to determine the best fit of polymer materials for use in a virtualized CAD.
  • We produce a prototype and the final working product.

Thermoplastic vs. Thermosetting Polymers: What’s the Difference?

The polymers used by Pacific Research Labs can be broken down into two categories: thermosets and thermoplastics. Each type of polymer material will add reliability and performance to your final products when the correct polymer variant is selected. Each type of polymer employs slightly different machining processes and will react differently to the common chemicals and temperatures used in the manufacturing process.


  • The most notable features of thermoplastics are their flexibility and fluidity when heated and their ability to reverse the curing process. This ability is possible because there is no chemical bonding during the creation process, allowing thermoplastics to be reused without affecting the material’s physical strength.
  • Products made with thermoplastic materials can become deformed when heat is applied. Also, thermoplastic polymers can be soluble or swell outside of product specifications when using specific chemicals.
  • Thermoplastics do provide good resistance to creep.
  • The reusable qualities of thermoplastics, plus their susceptibility to damage due to chemical or heat exposure, make them most useful in prototyping scenarios.

Thermoplastic polymer materials can be further broken down into two additional categories: amorphous polymers and semi-crystalline polymers. Each of these adds attributes to consider when selecting a polymer product.

  • Amorphous polymers can be quickly bonded with adhesives and are translucent.
  • Semi-crystalline polymers are more resistant to chemical interactions but are difficult to bond.


  • Thermosets are polymers that form an irreversible chemical bond when combined.
  • This process, called cross-linking, eliminates any risks of melting under high heat conditions.
  • The heat resistant attributes of thermosets make them an ideal material for use in products that are exposed to high-heat conditions.
  • Other characteristics of thermoset materials are their overall resistance to chemicals and creep, and their insolubility.

Collaborate with an Experienced Partner on Polymer Choices

An experienced manufacturer working with thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers.The dedication that Pacific Research Laboratory has for our customers is built on a foundation of collaboration and personal relationships. We take a hands-on approach with every project to ensure your vision comes to life. Working with an experienced partner when selecting polymers offers several benefits:

  • Experienced design and engineering teams
  • Local Pacific Northwest manufacturing company
  • Lean principles to eliminate waste
  • End-to-end production capabilities
  • Over 40 years of trusted experience

The benefits of working with a local Pacific Northwest manufacturing company is our investment and encouragement of local entrepreneurs. We strive to help you achieve excellence in your project goals by aligning our top-notch design and engineering services to our innovative approach of identifying the best polymer materials to be used in your final product. This allows us to inject an extra layer of service into the services we provide that will bring your vision to life

Quality Thermoplastic and Thermosetting Polymers for Your Next Design

Ensure your next design is sustainable and at the price point you need by entrusting Pacific Research Laboratories. We’ll assist you in choosing the best thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers for manufacturing your product. Visit our contact page or call (206) 408-7603 for more information.


Pacific Research Laboratories helps guide you to the best materials for manufacturing so you can create a sustainable, cost-effective design. Visit our contact page or call (206) 408-7603 for more information.

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