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Materials

Thermoplastics

Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic for fabricated parts

Polyethylene (HDPE / LDPE)

  • Economical
  • Low co-efficient of friction
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Stable in cryogenic environments
  • Good impact resistance
  • FDA /USDA approved (HDPE)
  • Resistant to many solvents (HDPE)
  • Good fatigue and wear resistance (HDPE)
  • Zero water absorption (HDPE)

Characteristics

Polyethylene is the most widely used thermoplastic polymer today. It is available in a variety of grades and formulations to suit different needs. In general, polyethylenes offer excellent chemical and impact resistance, electrical properties and low coefficient of friction. In addition, polyethylenes are lightweight, easily processed and offer near-zero moisture absorption. 

There are four categories of polyethylene based on density/property: low, medium, high (HDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.

Applications

  • Conveyor guides
  • Chute liners
  • Chemical holding tanks
  • Food processing parts
  • Medical equipment
  • Packaging applications
  • Conveyor wear strips (HDPE)
  • Piping systems (HDPE)
  • Liquid dispensing equipment (HDPE)
  • Marine components (HDPE)

Questions?

Our application engineers can help. With decades of experience in plastic material selection, we'll help you choose the optimal plastic for your application and budget.

To compare
the cost of this material to other thermoplastics, click here.

General Material Properties

Property   Metric units   English units
General    
Density   952 - 965 kg/m^3   00.344 - 0.0349 lb/ft^3
Mechanical    
Yield Strength   2.62e7 - 3.1e7 Pa   3.8 - 4.5 ksi
Tensile Strength   2.21e7 - 3.1e7 Pa   3.21 - 4.5 ksi
Elongation   11.2 - 12.9 % strain   1.12e3 - 1.29e3 % strain
Hardness (Vickers)   7.75e7 - 9.71e7 Pa   7.9 - 9.9 HV
Impact Strength (unnotched)   1.9e5 - 2e5 J/m^2   90.4 - 95.2 ft.lbf/in^2
Fracture Toughness   1.52e6 - 1.82e6 Pa/m^0.5   1.38 - 1.66 ksi/in^0.5
Young's Modulus   1.07e9 - 1.09e9 Pa   0.155 - 0.158 10^6 psi
Thermal    
Max Service Temperature   113 - 129 °C   235 - 264 °F
Melting Temperature   130 - 137 °C   266 - 279 °F
Insulator or Conductor   Insulator   Insulator
Specific Heat Capability   1.75e3 - 1.81e3 J/kg °C   0.418 - 0.432 BTU/lb. °F
Thermal Expansion Coefficent   1.06e-4 - 1.98e-4 strain/°C   59 - 110 µstrain/°F
Eco    
CO2 Footprint   1.95 - 2.15 kg/kg   1.95 - 2.15 lb/lb
Recycleable   Yes   Yes

The information on this page is intended as general guidance only and is only accurate at the time of posting (see date below). Specific material properties vary by manufacturer. Please contact a Dielectric application engineer for help in choosing the optimal material for your application and budget.

Posting Date: July 30, 2012