PE - Polyethylene

Polyethylene (PE) is one of most widely used plastics in the world and has a huge spread over industries, segments and applications. PE enables food to be packed economically with a prolonged shelf life, chemicals to be safely transported and distributed, clean water to reach all parts of the population, new cars to be protected from scratches and a myriad of other useful applications used in our everyday lives.

Polyethylene chemical formula.

Polyethylene (PE) is characterised by many families and product properties allowing a wide variety of end uses.

The Polyethylene portfolio stretches from standard grades to specialties and functionalised PE.

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)produced by Tubular or Autoclave technologies is available with standard (0.918-0.925 g/cc)and medium densities (0.930-0.940 g/cc) together with very low gel levels. LDPE offers high output grades for all extrusion and injection technologies and is available with compliance to food and Pharma standards.

LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) C8 Octene, C6 Hexene, and C4 Butene. LLDPE are available from higher densities (up to 0.941 g/cc) down to very low density PE (0.905 g/cc). LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) is used in extrusion, blown film, roto- moulding, injection moulding for food-packaging, frozen-food, floor-heating-pipes, stretch-film, cosmetic and pharmaceutical tubes etc.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene); bimodal and unimodal for blown film, blow moulding, Injection moulding or other extrusion processes. HDPE grades are available with UV-Stabilisation, and certification to meet UN standards for blow moulded chemical containers.

Plastomers for modification of PE or PP to increase properties like sealing, impact or softness. The Plastomers offer a wide range of grades, densities and comonomers ( Etylene- Octene or Butene based Polymer.

Functional Polymers such as EEA, EAA, MAH create adhesion to other polymers like EVOH or Polyamide barrier layers in extrusion process. These adhesives create a strong and reliable bond also to other substrates in co-extrusion processes. EAA can also be used in water based dispersions or hot melts (in addition to metallocene based polyolefin hot melt adhesive).

EVA for foam, extrusion or Hot Melt Adhesive applications.

Polyethylene might be divided into three groups:

  • Standard Polyethylene
    • LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene
    • HDPE - High Density Polyethylene
    • MDPE – Medium Density Polyethylene
    • LLDPE Butene C4 - Linear Low Density Polyethylene
  • High Performance Polyethylene
    • LLDPE Octene C8 - Linear Low Density Polyethylene
    • LLDPE Hexene C6 - Linear Low Density Polyethylene
    • VLDPE Octene C8 - Very Low Density Polyethylene
    • VLDPE Hexene C6 - Very Low Density Polyethylene
    • mLLDPE Octene C8 – Metallocene Linear Low Density Polyethylene
  • Specialties and Functional Polyethylene
    • EEA – Ethylene Ethyl Acrylate
    • EAA - Ethylene Acrylic Acid
    • MAH – Maleic Anhydride
    • EVA – Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
    • Plastomers and Elastomers (Ethylene, Propylene based)

Typical applications of standard Polyethylene grades are:

  • Shopping bags
  • Shrink Hoods
  • Industrial Films
  • General packaging
  • Masterbatch carriers
  • Lids
  • Crates

Typical applications of High Performance Polyethylene grades are:

  • Lamination films
  • Sealants
  • Cling-stretch
  • Frozen food packaging
  • Floor heating pipes
  • Oil tanks
  • Cosmetic tubes

Typical applications of Specialties and Functional Polyethylene grades are:

  • Adhesives to barrier layers in food films
  • Strong sealant layers for fast packaging lines
  • Paper and aluminium coating
  • High end Hot Melt Adhesive