September 2011

UHMW-PE: the "ultra" material
UHMW sheet can be manufactured using additives to enhance the physical properties.

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, or UHMW-PE as it is most commonly referred to, is the most versatile polyethylene for industrial needs on the market today. This low-cost material outperforms many of the other plastic materials being offered. Learn more.


Inside this issue

UHMW-PE: the titan of polymers
Technical advisory
Sustainable Manufacturing Metrics Toolkit now available


Expand Your Knowledge

UHMW-PE: the titan of polymers

The first question that's top-of-mind for most plastics distributors when a purchasing decision arises is not "How much will it cost?" or "How quickly will I get my delivery?" or "I wonder if they'll give me that trip to Disney World for placing this order?" Instead, the single most important question for today's distributor is "Of all the different products now available, which one will provide the perfect solution?" Learn more.

Technical advisory

• UHMW-PE is defined as polyethylene whose molecular weight is 3.1 million or higher.

• As with most high-performance polymers, processing of UHMW-PE is not easy. Because of its high melt viscosity, conventional molding and extrusion processes would break the long molecular chains that give the material its excellent properties.

• UHMW-PE has outstanding abrasion resistance and an extremely low coefficient of friction. Impact strength is high and chemical resistance is excellent.

Sustainable Manufacturing Metrics Toolkit now available

• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched a new "Sustainable Manufacturing Metrics Toolkit." This project, proposed by the United States and supported by other OECD members, has sought to develop a set of simplified indicators and guidance that can be used by any facility to measure its environmental performance and make decisions to improve it. Learn more.

The publication above is offered by a trusted source, but it has not been formally reviewed or endorsed by IAPD.

More Plastics Resources

Introduction to Plastics is more than an introduction
It's everything you need to know about more than 50 plastic materials commonly used today in industry, signage and visual merchandising, building and construction, and pipe, valves and fittings. This book provides such details as:

  • Their comparative properties
  • How they're made
  • Appropriate applications
  • Processing and fabrication techniques

Learn more

Get to know your distributor

IAPD distributors are your best source for finding materials for your application. Go to to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.

The IAPD Magazine
This bi-monthly magazine contains expert-written articles on innovative plastic materials and applications. Each issue focuses on different materials and industries. Subscribe today to stay informed of what’s going on in the plastics distribution market.

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Designing with Plastics is published by the International Association of Plastics Distribution. While every effort has been made for accuracy, IAPD encourages you to verify information with a plastics distributor to ensure you select the correct plastic products to meet your needs.