Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, or UHMW/PE, is one of the most versatile and efficient polyethylene plastics manufactured in today’s industrial marketplace. The Spiratex Company, experts in extrusion, has been a leading UHMW/PE extruder for years and has been at the forefront of its emergence as a low-cost thermoplastic that can outperform other well-known plastics.
Spiratex’s UHMW/PE Capabilities
The Spiratex Company is a leader in a relatively small industry that contains only a few capable UHMW/PE manufacturers. We extrude profiles, shapes and tubes for customers to their exact specifications and often provide our considerable expertise to customer engineers with design and dimension tolerance issues. What sets us apart from the competition is our ability to take on the more complicated profiles that other extruders avoid. Seventy-five percent of our production is custom parts for a specific user in a specific application. We balance this with a wide assortment of standard size stocked components for many industries such as material handling and the conveyor industry.
How UHMW/PE is Manufactured
Unlike many common thermoplastics, UHMW/PE can’t be injection molded. Rather, we developed a proprietary RAM extrusion process that utilizes significant heat and pressure to work our UHMW/PE into any shape or size required for our customer’s specified end use. We specialize in profiles and tubes that are custom designed and our extruders provide industry leading quality finishes that set our products above the rest. Our ULTREX brand products can be manufactured with a wide variety of additives and attributes to match customer specific requirements.
Frequently asked questions about UHMW/PE
The Benefits of UHMW/PE
UHMW/PE provides a number of unique qualities such as:
- high impact strength, while remaining flexible
- high abrasion resistance
- low friction
- chemical resistance
- water repellent
- excellent dielectric and insulating properties
- stress-crack resistant
- biologically inert
- FDA-certified food safe capable
An example of UHMW’s impact strength is a fender that provides a protective cushion on docks from ships weighing tens of thousands of tons. Its abrasion resistance and low friction properties make a vital component as a buffer device in a wide assortment of machinery, saving more costly parts and components from wear. There are significant energy savings as well when used as a wear surface by its significant reduction of drag in conveyor applications. Its chemical resistance properties allow it to be used in machinery containing corrosive chemicals, acids and other harsh liquids.
Spiratex extrudes UHMW/PE plastic for applications defined by our customers. The applications are amazingly diverse and varied. Many of Spiratex’s parts are manufactured for the material handling and conveyor industries where the thermoplastic serves not only as a buffer against steel parts with considerable drag but also provides extended belt life.
While conveyors of all types remain a major use for our UHMW/PE plastic and are usually standard parts, its use has become prevalent in numerous industries. They include:
- Agriculture equipment
- Car wash industry
- Dairy conveyor equipment
- Water-handling equipment
- Trucking industry
- Snow blowing equipment
- Airport equipment manufacturers
- Wine industry
- Bottling industry
You’ll find UHMW/PE extruded by Spiratex in an incredible array of everyday products you either use or experience. That includes neck guides for handling soda bottles, guide rails in car washes, waterway gates, snow blower scraper blades, commercial refrigerators, forklifts and walkway handrails at airports. The list is endless.