How is UHMWPE Made?
Mar. 27, 2023
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Tags: Rubber & Plastics
UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) is a thermoplastic engineering plastic with superior performance. UHMW is defined as having an average molecular weight greater than 2 million.
Its advantages include extremely high wear resistance, impact resistance, low friction coefficient, good self-lubricating ability, low temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, non-toxic and odorless, etc. The excellent chemical and mechanical properties make UHMWPE sheets widely used in electric power, shipping, coking, coal, paper making, textile, chemical and other industries.
Since the viscosity of UHMWPE in molten state is as high as 108 Pa*s, the fluidity is extremely poor and its melt index is almost zero, so it is difficult to be processed by general mechanical processing methods. The processing technology of UHMWPE has been developed rapidly, and through the transformation of common processing equipment, UHMWPE has been developed from the initial pressing and sintering to various processing methods such as extrusion and injection molding.
Pressing and sintering is the most original processing method for UHMWPE. This method has a rather low production efficiency and is prone to oxidation and degradation. In order to improve the production efficiency, direct electric heating method can be used
Ultra-high speed sintering processing method, using a blade mixer, the maximum speed of blade rotation can reach 150m/s, so that the material can rise to the processing temperature in only a few seconds.
2. Extrusion Molding
Extrusion molding equipment mainly has a plunger extruder, single-screw extruder and twin-screw extruder. Twin-screw extrusion mostly uses the same direction rotating twin-screw extruder.
3. Blow Molding
When UHMW-PE is processed, after the material is extruded from the mouth mold, it will produce certain retraction due to elastic recovery and almost no sagging phenomenon, so it creates favorable conditions for blow molding of hollow containers, especially large containers, such as oil tanks and vats. UHMWPE blow molding can also lead to high performance films with balanced strength in both longitudinal and transverse directions, thus solving the long-standing problem of inconsistent strength in both longitudinal and transverse directions of HDPE films, which can easily cause longitudinal damage.
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