UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight) polyethylene is a material that features an extraordinary mix of qualities. This thermoplastic material is incredibly solid and has excellent impact resistance.
It is characterized as a polyethylene with a molecular weight of at least 3.1 million. It is a tough but machinable thermoplastic with strong impact and superior chemical resistance. It does not show signs of rusting and features extremely low water absorption. In addition to these qualities, it is non-sticking, resistant to wear, and self-lubricating.
UHMW is an excellent material option for a wide variety of different industrial applications. It is chemically resistant, non-toxic, FDA and USDA-approved provides outstanding mechanical qualities even when subjected to cryogenic conditions, and lowers noise and vibration.
Due to its adaptability, UHMW is a fantastic general-purpose material that can be used in practically any setting.
Chemical Resistance of UHMW Polyethylene
UHMW polyethylene possesses a high degree of crystalline structure. It is devoid of any chemical groups such as aromatic rings, amide, hydroxyl, or any others that are vulnerable to being damaged by corrosive substances. As a consequence of this, UHMW polyethylene offers excellent resistance when it comes to chemicals. In the presence of water, seawater, or moisture, UHMW polyethylene fibers do not experience swelling, hydrolysis, or any other type of degradation.
Conditions such as tension fatigue, yarn-on-yarn abrasion, and bending fatigue may improve through contact with water. This is attributed to the cooling or lubricating effect of the water.
UHMW polyethylene’s chemical resistance makes it ideal for containers and pipes which hold or carry water or chemicals used in manufacturing, food production, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals.
Popular Uses for UHMW Polyethylene
UHMW polyethylene has numerous uses in numerous industries due to its benefits. Due to its durability and ease of cleaning (chemically and corrosively resistant), it is frequently used for cabinetry and food containment in the food service business. This allows food to be stored without fear of damage, leaks, or cross-contamination.
UHMW polyethylene is also often used in electrical components and semiconductors. The material is ideal for electrical use since it may be produced in conductive or anti-static forms.
This plastic is frequently found in assembly production lines due to its high durability and impact resistance. UHMW polyethylene is used explicitly in wear strips, bearings, guide rails, star wheels, and conveyor lines. Due to its ability to withstand repetitive actions and movements for prolonged periods, it is also frequently employed in packaging and food processing gear.
Due to its minimal moisture absorption, UHMW polyethylene is widely used to make marine dock parts. For instance, it is used to create marine dock fenders because it can withstand both wet conditions and damage from being struck by watercraft.
Finally, UHMW polyethylene is a common component of body armor and other types of protective wear. The material’s strong impact resistance makes it an excellent choice for projectile protection, and its light weight makes it comfortable to wear.
How does UHMW Polyethylene Compare to HDPE?
HDPE (high-density polyethylene) shares many of the same properties as UHMW polyethylene, including resistance to chemicals and corrosion, low moisture absorption, and high tensile strength. Even though it has a high impact strength, HDPE’s impact strength is not relatively equal to that of UHMW plastic.
HDPE is also more rigid than UHMW plastic but is more aesthetically appealing and features a smoother finish. This makes it a better choice for some manufacturers when the appearance of components is a significant factor.
UHMW At Piedmont Plastics
Piedmont Plastics maintains strong relationships with a large number of manufacturers, giving customers a diverse selection of options. When looking at various plastics, purchasers can easily locate pricing information for UHMW in the sheet and rod form.
When you use Piedmont Plastic’s online pricing calculator and ordering system, you can select the length, dimensions, or thickness of single or multiple pieces with relative ease. Additionally, purchasers can enter particular needs and requirements to receive tailored quotes.
Piedmont Plastics has numerous locations across North America, and each carries a substantial supply of UHMW. Get in touch with the sales representative in your area to get some assistance in locating the UHMW material that will best meet your requirements right now.
Let the experts at Piedmont help you find the perfect solution for your unique application.