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This chapter describes the molecular structures and chemical reactions associated with the production of thermoset and thermoplastic components. It compares and contrasts the mechanical properties of engineering plastics with those of metals, and explains how fillers and reinforcements affect impact and tensile strength, shrinkage, thermal expansion, and thermal conductivity. It examines the relationship between tensile modulus and temperature, provides thermal property data for selected plastics, and discusses the effect of chemical exposure, operating temperature, and residual stress. The chapter also includes a section on the uses of thermoplastic and thermosetting resins and provides information on fabrication processes and fastening and joining methods.

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