Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, or UHMW/PE, is one of the most versatile and efficient polyethylene plastics manufactured in today’s industrial marketplace. Unlike most common thermoplastics, UHMW/PE can’t be injection molded. Rather, it’s extruded using significant heat and pressure, allowing UHMW/PE parts manufacturers to mold it into various shapes and sizes that make it ideal for numerous applications.
Qualities that make UHMW/PE a popular thermoplastic choice
UHMW/PE has a number of qualities that make it a desirable part component. They include:
• 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
The applications for UHMW/PE are many and varied. Among the places you’ll find UHMW/PE in use is:
Food Service Cabinets
Because UHMW/PE is corrosion resistant, easy to clean and durable, it makes an ideal liner for food service cabinets.
The high molecular weight of UHMW/PE makes it moisture resistant. It’s also enormously strong, hard and abrasion resistant. As a result, it’s the ideal plastic for dock construction and for dock fenders that keep ships from damaging wooden docks.
UHMW/PE has a low coefficient of friction and significant impact strength. This makes it the perfect thermoplastic to keep boom trucks and cranes from slipping on unstable surfaces. Its ability to withstand temperatures of more than 200 degrees, make UHMW/PE ideal for even the hottest construction sites as the pads will not slip or fail.
UHMW/PE works beautiful on conveyor systems where the thermoplastic serves not only as a buffer against steel parts with considerable drag but also provides extended belt life. In conveyor systems involving bottles for food and beverages, the thermoplastic protects the bottles from breaking or being damaged.
UHMW/PE has long been used as a biomaterial for hip, knee and spine implants. Its use in all kinds of surgical orthopaedic parts continues to grow.
This flexible thermoplastic can be extruded into fibers that have number applications. That includes personnel armor, vehicle armor, cut-resistant gloves, bow strings, climbing equipment, fishing lines, parachutes, high-performance sails, skis, snowboards, guitar picks and kite lines.
It’s hard to go through a day without using or coming into contact with a product with UIHMW/PE as a component. That includes guide rails in car washes, snow blower scraper blades, commercial refrigerators, walkway handrails at airports, forklifts and waterway gates. The list of uses for extruded UHMW/PE is endless.
What to look for when buying extruded UHMW/PE for your parts
If you’re searching for the very best UHMW/PE for your parts you want to find an experienced manufacturer expert in extruding the plastic to your exact specifications. You’ll also want a company that can build any part shape or size and who can take on complicated, customized projects, if required. There’s a short list of qualified experts in the field of UHMW/PE extrusion, so to find the right one for you should not be difficult.