UHMW-PE is defined as polyethylene whose molecular weight is 3.1 million or higher. When making this determination, it was found that physical properties increased rapidly as lower MW values increased, and then leveled off at the 3,100,000 value. 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. Current manufacturing methods include compression molding, ram extrusion and warm forging of extruded slugs. UHMW-PE has outstanding abrasion resistance and an extremely low coefficient of friction. Impact strength is high and chemical resistance is excellent.
The material does not break in impact strength tests using standard notched specimens; double-notched specimens break at 20 ft-lb/in (42.1 kJ/m2). UHMW-PE has a crystalline melting point of 267°F (131°C). Recommended maximum service is about 200°F (93°C). Care should be taken when fastening UHMW-PE, as its large thermal expansion can cause the material to buckle between fasteners if they are too far apart.
Conveyor wear strips
Snowmobile track sprockets
Paper machine suction box covers
Parts of textile looms
Pipe for distribution of slurry materials
Other components requiring maximum abrasion resistance and impact strength and a low friction coefficient