When choosing plastic film materials for any purpose, it’s important to understand the benefits and characteristics of every option available to you. You are likely already familiar with at least a few of the most popular materials like acrylic and polycarbonate, but the list of plastic films available is much more extensive than many people realize.
UHMW is one option that doesn’t get as much attention as some others. But it’s incredibly versatile and offers a ton of benefits for users in a wide array of industries. If you’re wondering whether or not UHMW film distributors may be able to help with your company’s operations, here’s a guide to the benefits and applications of this powerful plastic film.
What Is UHMW Plastic Film?
UHMW stands for Ultra High Molecular Weight. It is a type of polyethylene plastic that is incredibly dense on a molecular level. This allows the material to offer some of the highest strength around.
In fact, this feature is really what the material is known for, especially since it offers so many different types of strength. In addition to basic durability, it is also incredibly resistant to abrasion, making it suitable for use in a huge number of settings. In fact, the abrasion resistance of UHMW plastic can even exceed that of steel. It also displays incredibly high resistance to both impact and wear. So it can hold up over time and against immediate impact from various objects. Additionally, it displays high resistance to chemicals, corrosion, and radiation, allowing it to keep its strength and other properties when placed in environments that may be potentially hazardous to other materials.
Now you know that UHMW film displays plenty of strength. But there are a few examples that deserve a deeper explanation. For example, the material’s excellent abrasion resistance is one of the characteristics that makes it most appealing to many users. This basically means that the film is able to hold its original form when exposed to constant friction. With many other materials, if you slide or scrape other objects against them constantly, they are going to wear down relatively quickly. However, UHMW holds up better than most. In its film form, this means it can be added to surfaces that may otherwise experience wear or damage prematurely to serve as a protective coating.
UHMW’s outstanding impact resistance is a completely different form of strength. This isn’t about standing up against wear over time. It is about preventing immediate damage if the material is struck by a heavy or hard object traveling at a high rate of speed. Lots of materials may dent, crack, or shatter in these instances. However, UHMW’s high molecular density allows it to retain its original form in most cases. So it can protect various surfaces that may be exposed to impact. It is also resistant to stress cracking, meaning it can generally hold up to a fair amount of weight and stress.
UHMW film also has attributes not related to strength specifically. For example, the material offers excellent sound dampening abilities. Since the molecules that make up the film are so close together, it is difficult for sound waves to pass through. This can be beneficial when used as an insulator in various environments that may utilize loud equipment or tools.
In addition, UHMW film is easy to machine. This means it can be offered in an array of different forms, sizes, and finishes. For example, some users may require very thin film to provide protection for small parts, while others could require a higher gauge for even more protection. The material’s easy machinability means users can get customized products quickly and without a ton of extra costs.
Applications of UHMW
UHMW film distributors work with companies in a huge array of industries to provide the strength and protection needed for their equipment and operations. The material can be utilized in everything from automotive weatherstripping to paper machines. However, there are a few industries where UHMW film is especially common and beneficial.
The medical industry is one of the top users of UHMW plastic film. Products like medical implants and diagnostic strips require materials that can hold up well in a variety of environments. The density of UHMW allows it to keep its original form in almost every circumstance, which allows providers to offer extreme durability and products that are safe.
UHMW film is also quite common in industrial environments. Since these facilities have parts that are exposed to a lot of wear and potentially to other hazards like chemicals and impact, UHMW film distributors can solve many of their problems at once. Specifically, it can be used on chute linings and conveyor wear strips to protect against abrasion from constant sliding and friction. It can even be applied in machine parts that may scrape or hit against one another during their operations.
If you’re looking for UHMW film distributors in your area, contact PolymerFilms to discuss your needs. We offer UHMW and other customizable plastic film products that are perfect for use in the medical industry, industrial machinery, and various other applications. Our films are available in various gauges and sizes, and we offer in-house conversion capabilities to ensure that each product is produced to the exact specifications required. Our five distribution centers spread throughout North America allow our team to provide personalized service to each client, along with fast turnaround times for each new quote and order. If you’re ready to discuss UHMW or any other plastic film needs visit our website to request a free consultation today.