UHMW-PE is an advanced engineering plastic with exceptional toughness, chemical resistance, and wear-resistance characteristics that are even better than steel. UHMW-PE is widely used in the automotive and marine industries. Its low porosity and chemical inertness also make it food-safe.
Ultra-high Molecular Weight Polyethylene, or UHMW-PE for short, is a subset of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) compounds with some additional advantages. The material’s extremely long polymer chains help improve its overall toughness. It has a friction coefficient comparable to Teflon, but with better abrasion resistance. CNC machining in UHMW-PE is similar to machining other engineered plastics.
|Application||Liners for chutes, chain guide profiles, dock bumper linings|
|Advantages||Exceptional abrasion resistance, exceptional toughness, low friction coefficient|
|Disdvantages||Not suitable for high temperatures and high levels of creep|
|Lead Time||Lead time is generally a minimum of 3 days. However, this can increase depending on availability or if the parts are to be internationally manufactured.|
|Tolerances||Machining tolerances of 0.010” (0.25 mm) are achievable.|
|Wall Thickness||A minimum wall thickness of 0.03” (0.8 mm) is achievable. This can vary depending on the ratio of wall thickness to planar dimension.|
|Max Part Size||The maximum size of the part is determined by the machines available and the complexity of the part.|
CNC machining in UHMW-PE produces tough and abrasion-resistant parts, making it ideal for applications that are exposed to impact loads and abrasive materials. Common applications include wear plates and seals. UHMW-PE is susceptible to creep and is not ideal for applications in which the parts are under continuous stress.
|Tensile Strength, Yield (MPa)||Elongation at Break (%)||Hardness (Shore D)||Heat Deflection Temperature (°C)||Melting Point (°C)|
UHMW-PE’s low friction coefficient makes it inherently resistant to coatings since the slick surface is difficult to bond to. While it is best to leave UHMW-PE in its machined state, Xometry can custom finish UHMW-PE with a variety of finishes.
CNC machining in UHMW-PE produces lightweight and low-cost components. Listed below are some additional budget-preserving tips.