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UHMWPE better than Nylon 66 for wear properties?

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Is UHMWPE black better than Nylon 66 black for wear properties?


David Jupp:
Truthful answer is probbably 'it depends on the application'.

UHMWPE is often used in situations where abrasive wear is an issue - coal/mineral handling for example.  I believe it's also used in some synthetic ice rink surfaces.

If the temperature increases, I'd intuitively expect that to move the balance towards Nylon.

It would be good if you can find some experience of same or similar application, otherwise do some trials.

BTW - I'm surprised you can get Black UHMWPE, the molecular weight is so high that normal compounding (the process by which colour is mixed in) isn't possible.  I've only ever come across 'natural' (translucent white). 

Thanks David,

There you go:_

I'm very interested in using plastics that have metal/steel performance so is UHMWPE difficult to cut and drill?  For now I've settled for PA 66 with disulphide so should machine well but would like to try the UHMWPE I want a nice plastic that's difficult to mark in normal use.

David Jupp:
I used to work in a Polyethylene R&D lab, though our company didn't actually make/sell UHMWPE.

UHMWPE is basically High Denisty Polyethylene but with very, very  long polymer chains - so much so that it doens't really flow at all when reaching its melting point - this makes it difficult to process as a melt.  Rather than conventional extrusion, it is more normal to sinter the powder to form solids.

It isn't actually very hard, and the softening temperature is low.  It is very resistant to the majority of chemicals.

Drilling/cutting etc should be easy as long as speeds are kept down (to avoid softening/melting).

Very interesting David,

HDPE is quite a well used polymer so does UHMWPE resist acetone like HDPE does also I'm guessing UHMWPE isn't designed to be blow moulded?


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