Polyethylene (PE) is the most common plastic material. All types of polyethylene are variants on the basic chemical formula (C2H4)H2; different types are formed by varying the amount of C2H4 compound. Most grades of polyethylene are known for their excellent chemical resistance.

 

A PE polymer's applications are typically determined by its chemical makeup. Low density polyethylene polymers are used to form a variety of commodity packaging applications as film. High density (HDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) have good friction and mechanical properties and are used in medical devices, wear parts, and engineered components.

 

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Common uses for PE: a bag (left), film, and bottles.

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