A thermosetting plastic, also known as a thermoset, is polymer material that irreversibly cures. The cure may be done through heat (generally above 200 °C (392 °F)), through a chemical reaction (two-part epoxy, for example), or irradiation such as electron beam processing.
Thermoset materials are usually liquid or malleable prior to curing and designed to be molded into their final form, or used as adhesives. Others are solids like that of the molding compound used in semiconductors and integrated circuits (IC). Once hardened a thermoset resin cannot be reheated and melted back to a liquid form.
According to IUPAC recommendation: A thermosetting polymer is a prepolymer in a soft solid or viscous state that changes irreversibly into an infusible, insoluble polymer network by curing. Curing can be induced by the action of heat or suitable radiation, or both. A cured thermosetting polymer is called a thermoset.