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For poly(phenylene sulfide) at a glance, click here!

Poly(phenylene sulfide), or PPS, is one of those really high-performance plastics that is very strong and can resist very high temperatures. How high? PPS doesn't melt until around 300 oC. It's also flame resistant. People in the plastics business call high performance plastics like PPS engineering thermoplastics when they want to feel like bigshots.

PPS is expensive, so it's used only when good heat resistance is needed. Electrical sockets, and other electrical components are made of PPS. So are certain parts of cars, microwave ovens, and hairdryers.

Wanna make PPS? Here's what you do: You have to react para-dichlorobenzene and sodium sulfide in a polar solvent like N-methyl pyrrolidone.

This gives you a low molecular weight PPS, which is a good thing if you want to use it as a coating. But if you want to use it as a material, you need to heat it in oxygen, and this will give you higher molecular weight. This usually crosslinks it, too.

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