POLYETHYLENE (PE): A thermoplastic that is used in various products. Its name comes from the monomer component, ethylene. Its short name, PE, is generally used in plastic industry.Ethylene molecule C2H4 actually consists of two CH2 molecules bonded by a double bond (CH2=CH2). Production method of polyethylene is the polymerization of ethylene molecule. Polymerization method may be one of these: radical polymerization, anionic polymerization, ion coordination polymerization or cationic polymerization. Each of these methods produces different type of polyethylene.
CLASSIFICATION OF POLYETHYLENE:
Polyethylene is classified under different categories based on density and chemical properties. Mechanical properties depend on molecular weight, crystal structure and branching type.
- UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight PE)
- HDPE (High Density PE)
- HDXLPE (High Density Cross-Linked PE)
- PEX (cross-linked PE)
- MDPE (medium density PE))
- LDPE (lowdensity PE)
- LLDPE (linear-linked low density PE)
- VLDPE (very low density PE)
Although its properties vary according to its type, general properties may be given as great resistance against outdoor conditions and humidity, elasticity, low mechanical force and outstanding chemical resistance. Containers, plastic boxes, kitchenware, coatings, pipes and tubes, toys, insulating layers in cables, packing films etc. are some common areas of use and PE is a low cost product.