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National City  CA  91950
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Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE)

UltraHigh Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE)

What makes UHMW-PE such a distinctive and useful material? It's the combination of excellent properties  outstanding abrasion resistance, superior impact resistance, non-sticking and self-lubricating properties and excellent mechanical properties, even in cryogenic conditions.

UHMW-PE is an extremely high viscosity polymer that is produced in the form of a powder and has an average particle size diameter typically ranging from 100-200 microns. As a result of its viscosity, it generally cannot be processed by the common methods used for ordinary thermoplastics. Thus, compression molding and ram extrusion processes are used to generate the high pressures needed to fuse UHMW-PE particles together and then, typically, are used to form the material into stock shapes or profiles with subsequent machining, as necessary.

Because of its abrasion resistance, chemical resistance and good frictional properties, major application areas of UHMW-PE include bulk material handling, food and beverage machinery; chemical, mining and mineral processing equipment, recreational equipment, transportation and orthopedic implants.

Conveyor guide rails, belt scrapers, chain guides, suspension wear plates. These are just a few of the ways UHMW extrusions have been used over the years, with proven long-term results. Extruded UHMW profiles can save up to 50% of the cost of a machined profile.

Thanks to its extremely low coefficient of friction (0.14), the polymer easily outperforms steel in sliding applications. Its inherent lubricity minimizes the heat-generating friction, which gradually destroys steel parts, and ensures smooth, noiseless operation.

Withstands sand, grit, and corrosion at sub-zero temperatures.

UHMW extrusions have long been used as snow slides protecting the frame in snowmobile drive suspension systems--a tough endurance test for any material.

Not only does the plastic withstand the constant abrasive friction of the vehicle's traction drive belt high-speed drive chain, it must perform in an extremely harsh environment. UHMW stands up to sand, grit, water and ice that would quickly destroy a lesser material. And it does it at sub-zero temperatures.

This kind of durability, low friction and wear resistance are key reasons why UHMW is the material of choice in so many other applications. Here is a brief sampling: Lodging & pulp - Conveyor wear plates; Automotive - Rider plates for assembly lines; Iron ore - Idler rollers for conveyors; Bottling & canning - Guide shoes for pallitizers; Waste water treatment - wear strips and shoes.ined Parts

Sprockets, wheels, bearings, and many other component parts can be fabricated from UHMW for applications as diverse as railroad cars, spacecraft, and hydroelectric plants.

The plastic can be machined into virtually anything, from small gears and bearings to huge sprockets--shapes that until recently were only possible with metals.

Ease of machining cuts costs.

UHMW not only outperforms metal in abrasion applications, it's also easier to machine and therefore cheaper.

Using special CNC lathes and milling machines, the versatile polymer can be milled, planed, sawed, drilled, and turned to create a huge variety of parts at a very competitive price.

Applications for machined parts include:
Food packaging - Chain belt guides - Sprockets for conveyors; Railroad cars - Flanged rollers; Chemical processing - Pistons, valves, bearings; Textiles - Industrial loom pickers; Waste water treatment - chain drive sprockets; NASA spacecraft - pinion gear for fuel cell.



Machining mechanical plastics gear from UHMW on a C.R. Onsrud Inc. - 241G18D Panel Pro Series CNC router



Turning UHMW Polyethylene on a CNC lathe

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