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Plastic Polyethylene and its classifications

6/22/2015 11:06:55 AM | by Carl Rio Ho

Plastic Sheets: Polyethylene

Plastic Sheets: Polyethylene is considered as thermoplastic polymer that consists of long hydrocarbon chains. Polyethylene is the most common plastic which is used worldwide. And it is classified in different categories based on branching and density.

Classification of Polyethylene

• Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) – is a division of thermoplastic polyethylene that produces a very tough material with high impact strength. It is tasteless, odorless and nontoxic, highly resistant to chemicals except oxidizing acids and also has extremely low moisture absorption.

• Ultra low molecular weight polyethylene (ULMWPE or PE – WAX) – is a macromolecule that has a low molecular weight which is easily de-graded by natural eroding process in a short period of time compared to the degradation of common polyethylene

• High density polyethylene (HDPE) - High density polyethylene is composed of low degree of branching with a low intermolecular force and tensile strength. It is ideal for packaging and products like detergent bottles, milk jugs, garbage container, butter tubs and many more.

• Cross linked polyethylene (PEX or XLPE) – this Cross linked polyethylene is a medium to high density polyethylene which contains cross link bonds that is introduced into a polymer structure to change the thermoplastic into thermoset and it is usually used in portable water plumbing systems.

• Medium density polyethylene (MDPE) – it is constructed with silica/chromium catalysts, metallocene catalysts or Ziegler – Natta catalyst. MDPE is less-notch sensitive and with better stress cracking resistance compared to HDPE and also typically used in fittings and gas pipes, shrink film, sacks, packaging film, screw closures and carrier bags.

• Low density polyethylene (LDPE) – this LDPE is a thermoplastic that is constructed from petroleum; it has high ductility and lower tensile strength. LDPE is constructed with a lower tensile strength with increased ductility; it is made by free radical polymerization and ideally used for both plastic film and rigid container application such as film wraps and plastic bags and widely used in manufacturing of various range of containers, wash bottles, dispensing bottles, plastic bags, tubing and many more.

• Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) – commonly furnished by copolymerization of ethylene which has short chain alpha olefins. It has higher tensile strength compared to Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and also constructed with higher puncture and impact resistance than LDPE. LLDPE is tough and flexible with relatively transparency which is suitable for packing especially film for sheets and bags and cable covering, lids, buckets, toys, pipe and container

• Very low density polyethylene (VLDPE) - Very low density polyethylene is generally formed by copolymerization of ethylene which has a short chain alpha olefins. VLDPE are common to frozen food and ice bags, tubing and hose, stretch wrap and food packaging.

• Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE) – it is well designed with outstanding physical features like high resistance in oils, chemicals, heat, weathering and abrasion, and also flame retardant, high filler acceptance, low temperature performance and compression set resistance which are suitable for cable and wire jacketing, geomembranes, automotive, roofing membrane, industrial tubing and hose, molded shapes, coating, extrude profiles and also it is used as base of polymer.

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