Thermosetting polymers are plastics or polymers that result from a fusing or solution of the individual components by means of a cross-linking process. This irreversible reaction is generally caused by thermal energy. The process can be accelerated with the help of appropriate catalysts, oxidising agents or high-energy radiation. Hardened thermosetting polymers are hard and brittle and can only be machined. This is because renewed heating does not lead to plasticity, but merely to decomposition of the polymer. Due to their mechanical and chemical resistance, even at elevated temperatures, they are often used in electrical installations.
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