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What are “thermoplastics”?

  • Usually named “plastic”, thermoplastics melt when heated up and solidify when cooled down; 
  • Some common plastics: polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, PVC, etc…; 
  • Mainly used in order to shape objects like bottles, plugs and other components, or extrusion made in packaging, bags, hoses and texture; 
  • Several features, such as: flexibility, stiffness, high temperature and chemical resistance, hardness and electrical insulation, etc.

What are “traditional paints”?

They primarily consist in “thermoset plastics” such as polyester, epoxy, polyurethane and acrylic. They are different from thermoplastics since they react forming a 3D molecular bond which will not melt if heated up. This technology is commonly used in both solvent-based paints and traditional powder coatings.

Why use Thermoplastic Powders?

Thermoplastic Powders can lead to several benefits depending on the powder type:

  • Barrier function to vapors, liquids and chemical resistances.
  • Electrical insulation and anticorrosion;
  • Flexibility – extension from 50% to 1000% with no cracking or flaking;
  • Thicker coating, offering:
    • Welds and edges coverage;
    • “Grip” and “Heat”;
    • Resistant to impact;
    • Application through Dipping, Flame Spraying and Flock Spraying methods.
    • Electrostatic Spray;
    • Low toxicity.

IBIX Thermoplastic Powders vs Thermosetting Systems


PU Systems/ PolyureaEpoxy SystemsThermoplastic powders
Return to service

• At least 24 hours before it can support light traffic.

• The most rapid PU system requires various and complicated systems for their application, as well as at least 90 minutes of wait time before being able to support even very light traffic.

• To fuse, epoxy resin requires an environment with a minimum temperature of 10°C.

• A typical solvent-free and thick epoxy coating requires at least 48 hours before it can support light traffic

• Applied by spraying.

• Able to support light traffic immediately after application.

• Heavy traffic accepted after 24h (trucks, forklifts, etc.)

Fire resistanceVery toxic combustion fumes are very toxic.Very toxic combustion.Besides having good resistance to the spreading of flames in the event of a fire, they produce combustion fumes with a low level of toxicity.
Lengthening property15/20% elongationEpoxy systems are not very flexible, therefore, they are prone to breakage.Lengthening property greater than 500% where used without primer, on metals.
Colour solidity

• PU systems harden quickly and usually do not have good colour retention (tends to dissolve and crumble).

• They often require another coating (very thin - approx. 50 microns) that tends to dissipate soon, thus requiring a new application.

• Epoxy resin coatings are known to have poor colour retention.

• They tend to change colour (even when not in contact with UV rays), to crumble or dissipate quickly when exposed to UV rays.

• To resist UV rays, they require another application cycle.

Very resistant to colour loss and dispersion (QUV ASTM G53-77 - Florida 45°C southern exposure
2000 hrs - no significant change in colour or loss of gloss)
Impact resistanceGood resistance to impact, as the PU systems possess a high level of flexibility and can absorb even heavy impacts.Hard and fragile, epoxy systems tend to flake or break if exposed to heavy impacts.Superior to PU and epoxy resin systems due to their flexibility and sturdiness
Health & SafetyThey contain isocyanate (continuous exposure can lead to allergic reactions) and may contain solvents.Epoxy resin normally contains a high content of Bisphenol A, which is considered an endocrine interferent (imitates natural hormones); this can lead to a high incidence of health risk.The Polyres primer for the IBIX Polyfusion system is epoxy resin based, which makes it the only component of the system with a harmful content, but it is coated with the Polyfusion thermoplastic copolymer, a thermoplastic coating with no risk to Health and Safety.


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