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Polyethylene film

2022-11-11 09:50:16


What is polyethylene film?

Polyethylene film is a plastic film made from ethylene, a hydrocarbon which is mainly obtained from natural gas or petroleum. The terms ‘plastic sheeting’, ‘polyethylene sheet’, ‘poly sheeting’ or ‘poly film’ are often used as synonyms for polyethylene film.


The term polyethylene is abbreviated as ‘PE’, the same way polystyrene and polypropylene are abbreviated as ‘PS’ and ‘PP’ respectively. In the United Kingdom, the word ‘polythene’ is often used instead of ‘polyethylene’.


What types of polyethylene film are there?

Polyethylene film can be made of different types of polyethylene. The most sold types of polyethylene are:


Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE).

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).

Polyethylene film can also be manufactured in different colours or be transparent. In addition, it can be purchased in different thicknesses.


What is polyethylene film used for?

Polyethylene film is the most common plastic that can be found out there nowadays. As a result, it is used for a wide range of applications, including the following:


l  Packaging.

l  The manufacturing of labels.

l  The manufacturing of plastic products (e.g. plastic bags).

l  Covering machinery or equipment.

l  Protecting surfaces in indoor painting.


Polyethylene and labeling

Aside from being the most common plastic, polyethylene is the cheapest labeling material there is. As a result, businesses use it quite often to manufacture their labels.


Polyethylene and the environment

As already mentioned, polyethylene film is made from ethylene, a hydrocarbon that is mainly obtained from petroleum or natural gas. However, it is important to note that ethylene can also be produced from renewable sources.


Although polyethylene biodegrades naturally, it can take a very long time (decades) until this happens. Several methods have been developed to accelerate its biodegradation. One of them consists in modifying the carbon chain of polyethylene with the help of an additive. This process improves the level of degradability and, as a result, the biodegradability of polyethylene. Another method consists in manufacturing film using a biodegradable substance that possesses similar properties to polyethylene (e.g. starch).


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