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All about UHMWPE

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber (UHMWPE)

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibers (referred to as the UHMWPE), also known as high strength and high modulus polyethylene fiber, is currently the world’s highest specific strength and specific modulus fibers, its partial molecular weight of 1,000,000 to the Fiber spun out of 5 million polyethylene. UHMWPE, together with carbon fiber and aramid fiber, are known as the three high-tech special fibers in the world today, and they are currently the highest-strength fiber in the world.

Among the three major special fibers, UHMWPE has the lightest quality, good chemical stability, wear resistance, bending resistance, tensile fatigue performance, and cutting resistance. equipment, labor, and anti- ideal material for the field of civil protection supplies.

The performance of UHMWPE

  1. High specific strength and high specific modulus. The specific strength is more than ten times that of steel wires of the same cross-section, and the specific modulus is second only to special grade carbon fiber.
  2. The fiber density is low, the density is 0.97g/cm3, which can float on the water surface.
  3. Low elongation at break, great work at the break, and strong ability to absorb energy, so it has outstanding impact resistance and cutting resistance.
  4. Anti-ultraviolet radiation, anti-neutron and gamma rays, high specific energy absorption, low dielectric constant, and high electromagnetic wave transmittance.
  5. Chemical resistance, wear resistance, and long flex life.

Physical properties of UHMWPE:

Density: 0.97~0.98g/cm3. It has a lower density than water and can float on water.
Strength: 2.8~4N/tex.
Modulus: 91~140N/tex.
Elongation: 3.5% to 3.7%.

The impact absorption energy is nearly twice as high as that of para-aramid fiber, with good abrasion resistance and low friction coefficient, but the melting point is only 145-160°C under stress.

The application prospects of UHMWPE

As UHMWPE fiber has many excellent characteristics, it has shown great advantages in the high-performance fiber market, including from offshore oilfield mooring ropes to high-performance lightweight composite materials, and has shown great advantages in modern warfare and aviation, Aerospace, maritime defense equipment, and other fields play a pivotal role.

At present, there are certain differences in the structure ratio of UHMWPE fiber application fields in Europe, America, and Japan. Europe and the United States are mainly used in bulletproof vests, bulletproof helmets and weaponry in the national defense and military industry, followed by ropes, fishing nets, and labor protection. Japan is mainly used in labor protection, ropes, and fishing nets. In particular, the demand for cut-resistant gloves in the painting process of automobile production is very high. Domestically, the military industry is also the largest application field of UHMWPE fiber in my country, which is mainly used for the production of aerospace components, tank and armored vehicle components, light vehicle components, body armor, bulletproof helmets, etc.

1. national defense and military industry

UHMWPE fiber has the advantages of good impact resistance, high specific energy absorption, lightweight, and wide operating temperature range, so it has played an important role in the field of national defense and military industry. UHMWPE fiber can be made into armored protective (bulletproof) panels for helicopters/tanks/money carriers and ships, protective shells for radars, missile covers, shields, parachutes, bulletproof helmets, body armor and other different products.

UHMWPE fiber protective products can be used at temperatures as low as minus 150°C, while aramid will lose its ballistic performance at minus 30°C. Therefore, in alpine regions, UHMWPE fiber products are the first choice for protective products and have now occupied the US bulletproof vest market. In addition, the specific impact load value of UHMWPE fiber composite is about 10 times that of steel, and more than twice that of glass fiber and aramid.

Bulletproof helmets and riot helmets made of UHMWPE fiber-reinforced resin composite materials abroad have gradually replaced steel helmets and aramid composite helmets. With the improvement of the national defense military industry’s armament level, the demand driving force for the UHMWPE fiber industry will also increase.

2. Aerospace

In the aerospace field, UHMWPE fiber composite material is suitable for manufacturing various aircraft wingtip structures, spacecraft structures, etc., due to its lightweight, high strength, and good impact resistance; armed helicopters and fighter jets made of UHMWPE fiber The shell material of UHMWPE also has excellent anti-ballistic properties;

UHMWPE fiber can also be used as a deceleration parachute for the landing of a space shuttle and a rope for suspending heavy objects on an aircraft, replacing the traditional steel cable and synthetic fiber rope, and its development speed is extremely rapid.

3. Marine & 4×4 Offroad

In the marine industry, UHMWPE fiber has quickly become the main material for marine ropes, ship mooring ropes, ocean fishing nets, and marine aquaculture cages with its excellent properties. Its market demand has maintained vigorous growth, especially in the rope and cable mesh manufacturing industry. The breaking length of ropes and cables made of UHMWPE under their own weight is much higher than that of steel ropes and aramid, and they are lighter and more energy-efficient than water. Floating on the water surface, while being resistant to seawater corrosion and ultraviolet radiation, can ensure longer service life.

the UHMWPE winch rope for 4×4 offroad recovery is also replacing the steel wire rope as it is safer, stronger, and easier to use. The future market demand will maintain vigorous growth.

4. Sports equipment

In the field of sports equipment, UHMWPE fiber can be made into helmets, snowboards, windsurfing boards, fishing rods, rackets and bicycles, gliding boards, ultra-lightweight aircraft parts, etc. Its performance is better than traditional materials.

5. Medical and health

UHMWPE fiber-reinforced composite materials are used in dental tray materials, medical implants, and plastic sutures. They have good biocompatibility and durability and have high stability. It can cause allergies and has entered clinical applications. It can also be used in medical gloves and other medical equipment.

6. Construction

In the construction industry, UHMWPE fiber-reinforced composite materials can be used as walls, partition structures, etc., as reinforced cement composite materials, it can improve the toughness of cement and improve its impact resistance. UHMWPE fiber can also be used as building materials slings, construction protection nets, cargo hoisting nets and so on.

7. Application in other fields

In industrial applications, UHMWPE fiber and its composite materials can be used as pressure-resistant containers, conveyor belts, filter materials, automobile buffer boards, etc. Because UHMWPE fiber and its composite materials have excellent wear resistance and impact resistance, various gears, cams, impellers, rollers, pulleys, bearings, bushes, bushings, shafts, gaskets, etc. can be made in the machinery manufacturing industry. Mechanical components such as gaskets, elastic couplings, screws, etc.

The main performance of UHMWPE winch rope: (pass 640kv/5min power frequency withstand voltage test).

——Lightweight, floating on the water, about 87.5% lighter than steel wire ropes of the same diameter.
——The highest strength in the world, about 1.5 times stronger than steel wire ropes of the same diameter.
——Excellent durability, seawater resistance, chemical resistance, repeated ultraviolet radiation, and temperature difference, the quality of use remains unchanged.
——The operation is convenient, fast, safe to use, and the operation is short in time, such as the ability of the army to move quickly under certain circumstances.

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