Polyethylene (PE) is a thermoplastic material which is a very environmentally friendly plastic, is recyclable and burns with no residue. The base material for producing polyethylene PE is ethene gas which is derived from petroleum and natural gas. This is converted to polyethylene by cracking. Sieving and crushing of the plastic mass resulting from this gives rise to small white grains, i.e. the granulate.
On the environmental friendliness of polyethylene
- Plastic films made from polyethylene (PE) contain the same organic base elements as wood and plant fibres, i.e. just carbon and water.
- PE films burn to carbon dioxide and water with no residue. There are no toxic fumes or gases and no cinders produced in this process.
- PE films contain no plasticisers and no heavy metals. They are physiologically harmless.
- No odour pollution or wastewater are produced in the manufacture of PE films.
Manufacturing of PE film results in:
- 3× less carbon monoxide
- 6× less nitric oxide
- 8× less hydrocarbon
- 13× less sulphur dioxide
- 258× less dust
... than other material.
This is the base material for producing the film, with a fascinating futuristic high blown bubble created as a result of extrusion. Products such as bags and sacks, hoods, blown film and blanks are produced from this PE tube, which is then cooled, processed further and stored on reels.
- The raw materials and energy used in production along with the water consumption plus the weight and space required in disposal sites are all lower for PE films than for similar materials.
- PE films have high levels of resistance to tearing and moisture.
- PE films are groundwater-neutral in waste disposal sites and are a welcome source of energy in combustion plants.
|PE-type||Technical properties||Temperature resistance|
|LDPE (Low Density Material)||low density, more elastic and softer than HDPE, shrinkable, the plastic most often used for packaging||continuous temperature -50°C to + 80°C|
|HDPE (High Density Material)||higher density, greater tear resistance, very low thicknesses possible, not shrinkable||continuous temperature -50°C to +100°C|
|MDPE (Middle Density Material)||medium density, benefits of LD and HD combined||continuous temperature -50°C to + 90°C|