Polyethylene Fiber | Properties of Polyethylene Fiber | Application of Polyethylene

Polyethylene Fiber:
Polyethylene is a polymer. Many no. of ethylene monomers join with each in the synthesis of polyethylene polymer. Polyethylene mono filaments were produced commercially on a small scale by  conventional melt extrusion and drawing of polymers made by the high-pressure  type of polymerisation process, starting during World War II. Polyethylene is a hard, stiff, strong and a dimensionally stable material that absorbs very little water. It has good gas barrier properties and good chemical resistance against acids, greases and oils. It can be highly transparent and colourless but thicker sections are usually opaque and off-white. Polyethylene also has good self extinguishing properties and resistance against ultra violet. Polyethylene is obtained by the polymerization of ethane. Cationic coordination polymerization, anionic addition polymerization, radical polymerization and ion polymerization are the different methods by which polyethylene can be produced. Every method gives different types of polyethylene. Mechanical properties of Polyethylene depend on the molecular weight, crystal grouping and branching.
Properties of Polyethylene Fiber:

1. Polyethylene fibre has a round cross section and has a smooth surface. Fibres made from low molecular weight polyethylene have a grease like handle.

2. The moisture regain of polyethylene is practically nil and hence moisture does not affect the mechanical properties of the fibres.

3. Higher energy is needed to break because of specific modulus and high specific strength

4. Polyethylene is insoluble in most of the common organic solvents at room temperature.

5. Polyethylene fibres have a high degree of resistance to acids and alkalies at all concentrations even at high temperature.

6. Very good ultra violet resistance

7. The fibre is generally inert and is resistant to wide range of chemicals at ordinary temperatures. They are attacked by oxidising agents.

8. Excellent electrical and chemical resistance

9. Very good abrasion resistance

10. Other Properties
  • Specific Gravity- 0.92
  • Tenacity - 1.0-1.5 gpd
  • Elongation at Break %- 45-50
  • Tensile Strength psi - 15000
  • Softening Range: deg C- 85-90
Application of Polyethylene:
  1. Medical implants
  2. Cable and marine ropes
  3. Sail cloth
  4. Composites like Pressure vessel boat hulls, sports equipment, impact shields
  5. Fish netting
  6. Concrete reinforcement
  7. Protective clothing
  8. Can be used in radar protective cover because of its low dielectric constant
  9. Can be used as a lining material of a pond which collects evaporation of water and containment from industrial plants
  10. Useful in geotextile applications
Polyethylene Manufacturers:
  1. Reliance Industries Ltd.
  2. Fiber Group, Inc.
  3. Fibra S/A
  4. Steen & Co. GmbH
  5. Kemex BV
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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