April 2010 | Focus: UHMW-PE

FLEXI FEND® after 2,000-pound impact test. The unique leaf spring shape of FLEXI FEND® allows it to flex with impact and return to shape. Fenders fully recover from repeated collisions and heavy loads.

Addressing questions and statements about UHMW-PE
Many articles have been written about the characteristics of UHMW-PE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) that make it so popular. For high-wear applications, UHMW-PE is the answer to many impact, release and abrasion problems. The unique combinations of properties of UHMW-PE continues to be the driving force in its market growth, However, these are some myths and misconceptions that we would like to address and some new formulations and profiles that offer interesting opportunities. Read more.

Tire shields made from Ramex® UV, which is UHMW-­­PE with a UV inhibitor, protect crops from tires.

Uses of UHMW-PE: From the fields to the grain elevator
The agricultural industry faces a myriad of challenges through the range of its processes: from soil preparation, seed planting and crop harvesting to the delivery of farm products to market. Farmers face the prospects of rising energy costs, poor crop conditions, climate change and low crop prices. The very harsh physical environment farming equipment is exposed to is just as demanding. The effects of moisture, abrasion and impact are deleterious to the effectiveness and durability of farm equipment and components. UHMW-PE offers reliable solutions to the farmer by extending equipment life and improving operational efficiency. Read more.

UHMW-PE step diffusion blocs made from compression molded sheet made and machined by Wefapress® Beck + Co GmbH. The UHMW grade used can be either standard or modified for higher chemical resistance. The application requires high wear resistance, outstanding sliding properties, excellent surface finish as well as high chemical and corrosion resistance. Such parts in UHMW-PE cost around five times less than the same part made from stainless steel.

Going “extreme” ultra high — a very versatile engineering plastic
UHMW-PE has been proving for more than 50 years that it can “go extreme” in many very demanding appli­cations and environments. Whether in cryogenic applications as low as -445°F (-265°C), under extremely abrasive environments like in linings for bulk material handling or dewatering elements in the paper industry, as guides for chains and belts in high speed conveying applications, as shielding elements in nuclear applications, as medical grade in orthopedic implants, in food or pharmaceutical applications, as large parts made from 33 feet long and almost 8 inches thick compression-molded monobloc, or as extremely small and intricate parts used in seals, UHMW-PE provides uncountable possibilities to provide a solution. Read more.

Test Your Knowledge

What do you know about UHMW-PE? (Answers are at www.iapd.org/popquiz.html.)

1. UHMW-PE is manufactured using which of the following processes?

a. screw (melt) extrusion
b. injection molding
c. ram extrusion
d. calendering

2.  UHMW-PE has many qualities which make it perfect for a variety of applications. Which of the following is NOT true?

a. UHMW-PE can be cross-linked after processing.
b. UHMW-PE has great impact strength.
c. UHMW-PE is available in a food contact grade.
d. UHMW-PE has a high amount of moisture absorption.

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In this issue

Addressing questions and statements about UHMW-PE
Reviewing myths and misconceptions about this popular plastic material.

Uses of UHMW-PE: from the fields to the grain elevator
UHMW-PE offers reliable solutions for farming equipment.

Going “extreme” ultra high — a very versatile engineering plastic
Innovative uses of UHMW-PE for very demanding applications and environments.

Test your knowledge
What do you know about UHMW-PE?

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