UHMW (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) plastic is the choice material for conveyors and packaging machinery. Its unique properties, ease of fabrication, and low-cost make it the optimal selection for this industry. Its ability to handle abrasion, impact, corrosive cleaning solutions, and wet environments enables UHMW to stand up to extensive wear and tear. Additionally, its dampening properties reduce conveyor noise and vibration. Made in large sheets for big or long parts, UHMW machines easily and can be extruded into complex profiles with thick or thin cross-sections. All these attributes make UHMW a great option for machine builders and maintenance personnel that are concerned with price, extending the life of initial installations, and repairs.
Slippery Plastic Smackdown!
Slideways frequently fields quote requests for parts made of Teflon™, the brand name for PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene). Once learning more about the application, we usually determine a UHMW (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene) part is needed. Teflon has a place in packaging machinery, but it is not the go-to material until some specific operating conditions are met.
Plastics today are used in almost unlimited number of applications, many of which were previously handled by metal components, especially when the application required the part to be exposed to harsh conditions such as temperature extremes. Today’s modern plastic formulations are superior in many ways to previous generations of plastic materials; however, they come in a wide range of compounds and not all plastics are suitable for all applications. Every plastic formulation has its own unique characteristics, such as durability, tensile and impact strength, temperature range, and more.