Thermoplastic compounds are a class of material whose base resin is of thermoplastic nature, formed by polymer chains interacting through intermolecular interactions (Van Der Waals forces) and generating a 3D structure, more or less entangled. Depending on the type and intensity of these interactions, the polymer can present amorphous and/or crystalline structures. Polymer chains of the first category are generally randomly arranged and responsible for the elastic behaviour of the material, whereas the second ones are more organised and tight, yield the materials resistance and strength.
The spectrum of properties that this class of materials can present is definitely vast in terms of mechanical, thermal, electrical properties and transformation technology. Along with the base resin there are mineral fillers, fibres, modifiers and flame-retardants affording the specific requirements of each single application and stabilising additives to prevent the deterioration during the process and the final application of parts. The high throughput typical of thermoplastic compounds transformation processes often requires the employment of process aids such as plasticisers.