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What is Uhmwpe Material?

Jul. 12, 2021

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE, UHMW) is a subset of thermoplastic polyethylene. Also known as high modulus polyethylene ( HMPE ), it has extremely long chains with molecular weights typically ranging from 3.5 to 7.5 million amu. Longer chains allow for more efficient load transfer to the polymer backbone by enhancing intermolecular interactions. This results in a very tough material with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic currently manufactured.

UHMWPE is odorless, tasteless and non-toxic. It embodies all the properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with the addition of resistance to concentrated acids and bases and many organic solvents. It is highly resistant to corrosive chemicals, except oxidizing acids; has very low moisture absorption and a very low coefficient of friction; is self-lubricating (see Boundary Lubrication); and has high abrasion resistance, which in some forms is 15 times that of carbon steel. Its coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal and comparable to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon), but UHMWPE has better wear resistance than PTFE.

 UHMWPE Wear Strips

  UHMWPE Wear Strips

UHMW Characteristics and Material Options

UHMW linings- UHMW sheets are commonly used to line chutes and hoppers to protect metal surfaces and keep solid materials such as sand, wood chips, or coal moving smoothly.

UHMW Parts - Easy to fabricate, UHMW is also used for packaging, conveyor, and food processing machinery parts, including star wheels, idlers, and under-chain wear bars.

UHMW Wood Alternative - UHMW has very low moisture absorption and is a popular choice for marine construction applications such as dock fender mats, pile guards, and non-skid walkways. UHMW will not rot, decay, or splinter like wood.

UHMW Grades - A variety of grades of UHMW are available, including reprocessed, enhanced bearing and wear, and FDA-compliant.

Technical Note - UHMW polyethylene has a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion. This can make it difficult to maintain tight tolerances for UHMW parts exposed to temperature changes.

UHMWPE Wear Strips

 UHMWPE Wear Strips

UHMWPE wear strips and components for material handling

Material handling processes often use machines with many moving parts. Over time, the contact points between moving parts can wear out and cause interruptions in the workflow.

UHMWPE wear strips and components act as sacrificial links in the system to prevent damage to critical components of the equipment.

Wear strips and components are often made of plastics that prevent surface damage and scratches, reduce noise between mating parts, and eliminate slippage and adhesion between sliding parts.UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) is one of the most commonly used plastic materials for wear strip applications. The unique properties of UHMW include high impact/wear resistance, self-lubrication, long wear life, and ease of processing, making it UHMW is ideal for this application. Wear strips and components are resistant to corrosion and chemicals and are able to keep moving parts free from external grease and lubricants. Wear strips and components are commonly used with bearings, slides, gears, cams, bushings, and rollers.

Abosn has a wide variety of materials for wear strips and components, including UHMW in a variety of thicknesses and sheet sizes, and the team at Abosn knows all of our products and can help you select the best material for your project. For more challenging applications where standard materials just won't do, our team of experts will work closely with you to find the best solution.  Welcome to contact us today or request a quote. 

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