What is UHMWPE fiber?

The UHMWPE fiber (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Yarn) has 15 times stronger than steel and 40% stronger than aramid when weight for weight basis. It is the strongest yarn today for making cut-resistance gloves, high-strength ropes, and bulletproof fabrics. Its tenacity at breaking up to 45g/D and has goods performance on anti-UV, anti-chemicals, and anti-cut.

Introduce of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Yarn

The Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE fiber) is a subset of the thermoplastic polyethylene. Also known as high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE yarn), it has extremely long chains, with a molecular mass usually between 3.5 and 7.5 million annual. The longer chain serves to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by strengthening intermolecular interactions. This results in a very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made.

UHMWPE fiber is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic. It embodies all the characteristics of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with the added traits of being resistant to concentrated acids and alkalis, as well as numerous organic solvents. It is highly resistant to corrosive chemicals except for oxidizing acids; has extremely low moisture absorption and a very low coefficient of friction; is self-lubricating (see boundary lubrication); and is highly resistant to abrasion, in some forms being 15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel. Its coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal and is comparable to that of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon), but UHMWPE fiber has better abrasion resistance than PTFE.

UHMWPE yarn is also one of three major hi-tech fibers ( specifically the carbon fiber, aramid, and UHMWPE fiber), in addition, it is a super-strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 10 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on weight for weight basis. UHMWPE yarn floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light, and chemicals. The applications are therefore more or less unlimited.

Features of UHMWPE fiber / yarn

uhmwpe fiber applications 3
  • *High strength: 10 times stronger than the high-quality steel of the same section in intention;
  • *High modulus: next to the super-class carbon fiber
  • *Low density: 0.97, and floatable on water
  • *Anti-UV
  • *Anti-erosion—anti-acerbity,anti-alkali,anti-seawater;
  • *Extraordinary anti-abrasive, flexible, anti-bend.

Typical properties of UHMWPE fiber

  • After 1500 Sunshine hours, its remaining strength is more than 80%.
  • After 6 months in most chemicals (seawater, gas, etc.), its remaining strength is 100%.
  • The UHMWPE ropes remaining strength is 100% after 1000 times loaded relative test.
  • Melting Point is around 135-145, Highly resistant to abrasion, cutting, tearing
  • Its relative times until the break of Abrasion proof is more than 110 to 103.
  • Its relative times until the break of Winding proof is more than 110 to 103.
  • Its strength of annulation is 12 up to 18g/d. it’s 10 up to 15g/d for collusion.
  • Color is bright white and poor for dyeing.
uhmwpe fiber applications 1

Applications of UHMWPE fiber / Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Yarn

Based on UHMWPE yarn’s so advantageous properties, it has now become one of the high-tech materials rapidly developed in recent years and widely applied in such fields as safety protection, aviation, spaceflight, navigation, electronics, weapon, shipbuilding, building material, sports, medical treatment and so on. Products made up of the fiber include bulletproof jacket, ballistic helmet, financial vehicle, ballistic shield, tank, naval armor protection board, parachute hawser, watercraft Oceaneering cordage,mountain-climbing rope, fishing net and tread, boat, gig and arrow, pat, ski, man-made nearthrosis and ligament, safety protection cover,anti-impact vessel and so on.

  • Bulletproof Armor: Body armor, bomb suppression blanket, ballistic helmet, ballistic plate, etc.
  • Oceaneering: Drilling platform, anchor cable, towrope, mooring rope, terminal hoisting rope, etc.
  • Industrial Applications: Cut-resistant gloves, hoisting rope, wind power cable, etc.
  • Aerospace engineering: Aircraft wing tip component, spacecraft component, the buoy of aircraft, aviation cage, spacecraft component, etc.
  • Marine Fisheries: Commercial fishing net, marine aquaculture net, salvage rope, towing rope, sailing rope, etc.
  • Outdoor Sports: Climbing rope, parachute rope, sailing rope, kite line, fishing line, helmet, sail round plate, ultra-low-weight, aircraft parts, etc.
  • Biological material: Denture base material, graft and plastic sutures, etc.
  • Industrial Fields: Pressure container, conveyor belt, filtration material, automobile cushion plate, etc.
  • Construction: Wall, diaphragm structure, reinforced cement composite material, etc.

Reference links of UHMWPE fiber / Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Yarn

Types of UHMWPE fiber

Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene – Wikipedia

Spectra® Fiber – Honeywell

Dyneema® Fiber – DSM

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