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How is PE pipe processed? What are the methods?

▲Extrusion: Grades used for extrusion production generally have a melt index less than 1 and a mid-width to wide MWD. Low MI gives suitable melt strength during processing. The wider MWD grades are more suitable for extrusion because they have a higher production speed, lower die pressure and a reduced melt fracture tendency.

PE has many extrusion applications such as wires, cables, hoses, tubes and profiles. Pipes are used in applications ranging from natural gas small cross-section yellow pipes to 48-inch diameter thick-walled black pipes used in industrial and urban pipelines. The use of large diameter hollow wall tubes as a replacement for rainwater drainage pipes and other sewer lines made of concrete has grown rapidly.

Plates and thermoforming: The thermoformed linings of many large picnic coolers are made of PE and are tough, lightweight and durable. Other sheet and thermoformed products include fenders, tank linings, pan guards, shipping boxes, and cans. A large number of rapidly growing sheet applications are mulch or pool bottoms, which is based on the toughness, chemical resistance and impermeability of MDPE.


▲ Blow Molding: More than 1/3 of HDPE sold in the United States is used for blow molding applications. These range from bottles of bleach, engine oil, detergents, milk and distilled water to large refrigerators, car fuel tanks and canisters. Blow-grade properties such as melt strength, ES-CR, and toughness are similar to those used in sheet and thermoforming applications, so similar grades can be used.

Injection-blow molding is commonly used to make smaller containers (less than 16oz) for packaging medicines, shampoos and cosmetics. One advantage of this process is that the bottle is automatically flanged, eliminating the need for post-dressing steps such as general blow molding. Although some narrow MWD grades are used to improve the surface finish, mid-width to wide MWD grades are generally used.


▲ Injection Molding: There are countless applications for HDPE, ranging from reusable thin-walled beverage cups to 5-gsl cans, and one-fifth of domestic production of HDPE. Injection grade grades generally have a melt index of 5 to 10 and have a relatively low toughness flow grade and a higher flowability grade with processability. Applications include daily necessities and food thin-walled packaging; tough, durable food and paint cans; and high resistance to environmental stress cracking applications such as small engine fuel tanks and 90-gal trash cans.


▲Roto Molding: Materials that use this process are generally comminuted into a powder that melts and flows during thermal cycling. Rotomolding uses two types of PE: generic and cross-linkable classes. General-purpose MDPE/HDPE typically has a density ranging from 0.935 to 0.945 g/cc, with a narrow MWD, giving the product high impact and minimal warpage. Its melt index range is typically 3-8. Higher MI grades are generally not suitable because they do not possess the desired impact and environmental stress crack resistance of the rotomoulded products.

High-performance rotational molding applications utilize the unique properties of their chemically crosslinkable grades. These grades have good fluidity in the first stage of the molding cycle, and are then crosslinked to form their excellent resistance to environmental stress cracking and toughness. Abrasion resistance and weather resistance. The cross-linkable PE is only suitable for large containers ranging from 500-gal for transportation of various chemical storage tanks to 20,000-gal for agricultural storage tanks.


▲Film: PE film processing is generally performed by ordinary blown film processing or extrusion. Most PEs are used for thin films, and general purpose low density PE (LDPE) or linear low density PE (LLDPE) are available. HDPE film grades are generally used where superior stretchability and excellent barrier properties are required. For example, HDPE films are commonly used in commercial bags, grocery bags and food packaging.

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