Editorial Feature

Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene - UHMWPE

UHMWPE is a semi-crystalline, whitish and efficiently opaque engineering thermoplastic which, chemically, is an extremely high molecular weight (3-6 million) HDPE. As a result,it has a very high melt viscosity and can usually be processed only by powder sintering methods. It also has excellent cut and wear resistance and toughness and extremely good chemical resistance, to some extent better than that of HDPE.

Polymer Type



Outstanding toughness cut and wear resistance. Excellent chemical resistance.  Good low temperature impact resistance.


Not melt processable.


Can and bottle handling machine parts, moving parts on weaving machines, bearings, gears, artificial joints, chutes and slides for directing particulate solids.  Edge protection on ice rinks.  Butchers' chopping boards.

Applications also include a number of "wear parts" (example, bottle handling machine components), and marine quay headings. Fibers of extremely high molecular orientation can also be produced from polyethylene of very high molecular weight by gel spinning and subsequent drawing to provide fibers which are reported to be up to 85% crystalline and with 95% parallel orientation.

They are called Ultra High Modulus or High Performance Polyethylene fibers (UHMPE or HPPE). Goodfellow offers a modest range of fiber, braided cord, and fabrics.

Typical Properties

Property Value
Density (g/cm3) 0.945
Surface Hardness RR50
Tensile Strength (MPa) 35
Flexural Modulus (GPa) 0.5
Notched Izod (kJ/m) 1.06+
Linear Expansion (/°C x 10-5) 13
Elongation at Break (%) 500
Strain at Yield (%) 25
Max. Operating Temp. (°C) 55
Water Absorption (%) 0.01
Oxygen Index (%) 17
Flammability UL94 HB
Volume Resistivity (log ohm.cm) 18
Dielectric Strength (MV/m) 28
Dissipation Factor 1 kHz 0.0002
Dielectric Constant 1 kHz 2.3
HDT @ 0.45 MPa (°C) 69
HDT @ 1.80 MPa (°C) 42
Material. Drying hrs @ (°C) NA
Melting Temp. Range (°C) NA
Mould Shrinkage (%) NA
Mould Temp. Range (°C) NA


  1. Shamielya Shamsul Shamielya Shamsul Malaysia says:

    Hello , I want to ask some questions. My company ordered the Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene - UHMWPE from the supplier. When we got the materials , the dimension of our material is incorrect. Thus , we asked the supplier , they said that the air Conditioner's temperature effect the dimension. We are quite doubt with the supplier. So before anything , does Pe-UHMW shrink on cold temperature ? If it shrink , what are the solution to overcome this situation ?

  2. Terry Tosky Terry Tosky Canada says:

    Hi there - I would like manufacture a neon clock. I am thinking of thermoforming  the components. I would like to find the best mat'ls for the dial face and the outer bubble. I have several other questions, such as, what size should I be loading into my thermoformer ?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.

Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.