PE, or polyethylene as it is commonly known, is a polymer formed by the polymerization of ethene (ethylene). Its very good thermoplastic, mechanical and waterproofing properties make it a significant percentage among all polymer-based products. KK SOLUTIONS has in its offer the possibility of implementing projects based on PE in any form expected by the customer.
What is PE and how is it obtained?
Polyethylene is a high-molecular polymer, which consists only of carbon and hydrogen molecules. It can take the form of white, transparent and translucent. Depending on the production method used, low-density and high-density PE is obtained. Two methods of polymerization are used - high-pressure and low-pressure.
The high-pressure method (bulk or block radical polymerization) provides low-density polyethylene. During the production process, it is necessary to use high ethylene pressure and high temperature. The consequence is to obtain a product with high purity but low molecular density. The finished polyethylene can be cooled, which leads to taking the form of a solid block. Without cooling, PE in bulk radical polymerization is in liquid form.
The second method of obtaining polyethylene is based on the use of a low operating temperature and a pressure slightly higher than atmospheric (up to a maximum of 0.5 MPa). As a result, it is not necessary to use complicated production equipment to generate high pressure and maintain high temperatures. As a result of the catalyst and solvent and mixing them with the monomers, a suspension is formed that is subjected to filtration. The product of low-pressure polymerization is a powder that can be granulated at a further stage.
What are the types of polyethylene?
The very good properties of polyethylene mean that the product evolution of this material continues. As a result of experimentation, different variants of polyethylene adapted to specific applications are appearing on the market. Among the most popular types of PE are:
- UHMWPE (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) - ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene. UHMWPE is used for bulletproof vests, among other things.
- HDPE (high density PE) - polyethylene having a high density level of 0.94-0.96 g/cm³. Obtained by low-pressure polymerization. The most common commercial names for this polymer are PE-HD is PE 80 and PE 100.
- MDPE (medium density PE) - medium density polyethylene 0.926-0.94 g/cm³
- LDPE (low density PE) - low density polyethylene 0.915-0.935 g/cm³.
- LLDPE (linear low density PE) - Low pressure linear low density PE 0.915-0.935 g/cm³.
- PEX (cross-linked PE) - cross-linked polyethylene, cross-linked PE chains.
The most important properties of polyethylene
Each of the PE types listed above has its own individual characteristics. However, it can be noted that each PE has some common physical and chemical properties. These include:
- dimensional stability
- high abrasion resistance
- high level of impact resistance
- no emission of harmful compounds
- excellent sliding properties
- very good water, electrical, gas, microbiological insulation
- low density
- very high resistance to alkaline, acid and salt solutions
- very low hygroscopicity
- physiological inertness
The most common applications of polyethylene
PE is a polymer that is commonly used in advanced machinery, as well as used to manufacture basic utility accessories. Plastics made from polyethylene are mainly used in the production of food films and packaging, the lining of beverage containers (such as the inside of milk cartons), but also packaging, or lids. The food industry is not the only industry where a wide variety of PE variants are used. In addition to it, polyethylene is used in:
- medicine and pharmacology
- chemical and petrochemical industries
- transportation and logistics
- manufacturing of household appliances
- electrical engineering
- deep cooling technology
PE products for your business only at KK SOLUTIONS
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