Also commonly referred to as UHMW for short, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene tubing is used in a wide range of different applications. You often see it used in the food service industry, for example, especially in and around surfaces that need to be sanitized on a regular basis. It’s also the type of material that is commonly used to make docks and dock fenders. The UHMW material itself is also found quite regularly in body armor, thanks to its impact resistance and other qualities.
Indeed, there are a plethora of different options to choose from when it comes to the materials that you’ll use for your next big project. But it’s also fair to say that UHMW tubing brings with it a host of different benefits, all of which are worth a closer look.
The Power of UHMW Tubing
One of the biggest advantages that customers often find with UHMW comes by way of its very high resistance to wear and abrasion. Along the same lines, it’s also known for maintaining its performance even in the wake of extreme temperature fluctuations. It can be used in extremely high and extremely low temperatures and will really only begin to lose its abrasion-resistant properties when the temperature of an environment gets over 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It won’t melt into a molten liquid when heated, so it’s particularly useful in environments where high temperatures are a constant.
Indeed, the molecular weight of UHMW goes from 3.1 million grams per mole to 100 million grams per mole depending on the specific piece you’re talking about. The abrasion resistance keeps getting better as that molecular weight gets higher, creating something of a perfect storm in the best possible way.
Based on all of that, it should come as no surprise that UHMW is also known for being very tough and durable. It also has low moisture absorption properties – which is why it’s commonly used in environments where water is a constant factor. UHMW tubing is also very resistant to corrosive chemicals, with perhaps the sole exception of oxidizing acids for obvious reasons.
Because of these properties, the use of UHMW tubing in certain applications is a great way to extend the life of your equipment as possible. Not only does it go a long way towards reducing your maintenance costs, it can also reduce energy consumption costs, too – making it one material choice that begins to pay for itself almost immediately. To that end, it has been even known to outperform a lot of metals in many of the applications that it is used for.
Finally, one of the biggest advantages of UHMW material in general is that it is very easy to machine – even with common tools. You can machine UHMW into nearly anything you could need – from small components like gears to massive sprockets and everything in between. Thanks to its moisture resistant qualities, it is very easy to fabricate – making it a cost-effective choice for most projects that is every bit as reliable as it is versatile. In addition to the examples outlined above, it is also often used in high speed conveyors, on wear strips, on guide rails and even as the main material used to make bed liners in pickup trucks.
If you’d like to find out more information about the wide range of different benefits that only UHMW tubing brings to the table, or if you’d just like to discuss your own needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Spiratex today.