Polyethylene (PE) – 3 variants: PE300, PE500 and PE1000Müller Ahlhorn
Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH | 20.01.2020
Polyethylene (PE) is a popular material with a wide range of applications. However, depending on the intended use, care should be taken to select the most suitable variant.
Ahlhorn, 20.01.2020 – Kunststoffhaus offers polyethylene (PE) in 3 variants
Polyethylene is a widely used plastic that is produced in large quantities from ethylene. This process produces large hydrocarbon molecules that vary in length and degree of branching depending on the reaction conditions. The density and other properties of the finished plastic vary depending on these conditions. In general, however, these are easily formable, impact-resistant products of relatively low strength, hardness and stiffness, which are characterised by high chemical resistance to acids, alkalis and many other chemicals. Water is only absorbed in very small quantities.
Special properties of polyethylene
The low electrical conductivity is another important feature of PE plastic. As a thermoplastic, it can be melted and brought into the desired shape by injection molding or other common so-called primary molding processes. The thermoplastic properties of polyethylene are also used for the subsequent joining of different components by welding. PE plastic is used in various areas, although its relatively low melting temperature range limits its use at temperatures above 100 °C.
An important area of application for PE plastic is packaging such as plastic bags, plastic films, plastic bottles, etc. The material is also used for pipes in gas and water supply and sewage disposal, as well as for insulation in electric cables, for the construction of various appliances and appliance parts and in mechanical engineering.
PE in three variants
Three high-molecular polyethylene variants are available for selection at www.kunststoffhaus.de: PE300, PE500 and PE1000. Each variant can be purchased in the form of rods and sheets for further processing. Further processing can be carried out by the customer, but it is also possible to have tailor-made polyethylene precision milled parts produced by Müller Ahlhorn.
Of the three PE variants, PE300, also known as PE-HD (“high density”), has the lowest molecular weight. Compared to the other two variants, the polymer chains are therefore relatively short. The material is comparatively soft, can be processed easily and is used, for example, in tank and apparatus construction.
Thanks to its crystallinity, PE500 – also known as PE-HMW (“high molecular weight”) – has the highest density, strength, stiffness and hardness of the three variants. If these properties are required, for example for certain electronic components or cutting pads, this PE plastic is preferred.
PE1000 has an even higher wear resistance. It is also known as PE-UHMW (“ultra high molecular weight”) because of its particularly high molecular weight. The extremely long molecular chains result in a particularly high impact strength, i.e. this PE plastic can absorb a lot of energy when subjected to impact without breaking.
For this reason, and also because of the good sliding properties due to very low friction, this material is used for many components in modern mechanical engineering. Even at very low temperatures (down to -200 °C) PE1000 is a reliable material.