Polyethylene, also called polythene, is the most popular form of plastic used in the world. It is a compound that has multiple uses. Besides being a component of Polyethylene Tubing, it is commonly used in many consumer products such as clear shrink wrap, dry cleaner bags, milk cartons and plastic shopping bags. Many toys and even baby bottles are made out of this material. It is estimated that 80 million metric tons of it are produced annually for world wide use by manufacturers. Certain types of polyethylene are very rigid due to a high molecular weight and can be used to make items like chopping boards and even bullet proof vests. Implants for hip and knee replacement are also formed out of this very versatile form of plastic.
When in the form of Polyethylene Tubing it is categorized as either high density, which has a density greater than 0.084 oz per cubic inch, or low density, which weighs between 0.0814 oz and 0.0839 oz per cubic inch. In the low density form, polyethylene tubing is very flexible and resists cracking. It is able to withstand many different temperatures making it a good choice for food industry use. Many restaurants use plastic containers made from polyethylene since it can handle heat and cold without becoming brittle or warping. The most common use for the low density form is plastic bottles which are used for drinking water.
When in the high density form, Polyethylene Tubing is more rigid. It does not bend as well as it does in the low density form. However, because it is not as flexible it can withstand sterilization by boiling water. Many food manufacturers use it for this reason as well as laboratories who must sterilize equipment continuously. This high density form is also used to make plastic pipe although it is not as durable as pvc pipe.
Unlike rubber that can deteriorate, Polyethylene Tubing holds up over time. Its durability makes it a well-liked choice for many items that are created from this poly product. Items such as garbage cans, outdoor plastic pools and playhouses for children which are subject to the elements retain their functionality much longer than their counterparts made from wood and metal. It is such a popular material with so many uses that it is impossible to imagine a world without it.