Have you ever wondered what was used in making those fancy plastic bottles and plastic bags? That remarkable material is called medium density polyethylene and it accounts for a large number of plastics in circulation today.
Among its desirable mechanical qualities are its high ductility, impact strength and low friction. Under increasing pressure, polyethylene tends to creep. However, an addition of short fibers would reduce the extent of the creep.
In addition to its thermal properties (that is, its tolerance for heat) where its melting point can range between 120 to 180 °C (248 to 356 °F), its chemical properties also make it very useful in commercial production of thermoplastics.
Qualities of MDPE
Polyethylene puts up strong resistance to both acid and base attack, including oxidants and reducing agents. Its low water absorption capability also makes it a desired material in industries.
Today, there is high demand for mdpe pipe as it exhibits applauded strength, good corrosion and chemical resistance.
All of these qualities make them suitable for use in municipal, industrial, marine, mining, landfill, duct and agricultural applications.
Hence the applications of mdpe plastic pipe around us can be better appreciated.
Classification of Polyethylene
Polyethylene has been classified into a number of groups based on its varying density. Some of these classifications are Listed below:
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE);
- High-density cross-linked polyethylene (HDXLPE);
- Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE);
- Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE);
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE);
- Very-low-density polyethylene (VLDPE),
- Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE).
However, our focus will be on Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE). We will touch on what MDPE is made up of and some of its applications.
The impacts of MDPE on the environment
Polyethylene is best described as a thermoplastic polymer with variant structures that determine what It’s going to be used for.
Medium-density polyethylene, which is also a subcategory of Polyethylene (PE), is characterized by its ability to be melted, cooled and reheated without the material suffering degradation or loss of its properties.
Rather than going up in flames when MDPE comes in contact with fire, it melts or liquefies. This property of polyethylene allows it to be easily injected into molds and recycled for reuse, reducing its impact on the environment in terms of waste.
What are the Properties of Polyethylene?
Like we mentioned in earlier parts of this article, the major distinction between the categories of polyethylene is their density.
Amongst medium density polyethylene properties is the density of 0.926-0.940 g/cm3. Its heat capacity and tensile strength are found to be between 1.916 kJ/kg.K and 12.4–19.3 MPa respectively.
Its young modulus falls between 172–379 MPa. Combined, these properties of MDPE makes it a sustainable shock and drop resistance material.
Common Applications of Polyethylene
Polyethylene (MDPE pipes) can be seen in action in pipes and fittings. MDPE plastic pipes are used for gas pipes, water and waste water plumbing designs, sewage, and drainage, steel pipe coating, wiring and cables, shrink films, and lots more.
Medium density polyethylene (MDPE) has found countless applications in automobile industries where its high impact resistant properties, toughness, density, and moisture and chemical resistance are adopted in car designs.
It’s used for building car bodies, fuel tanks and as an electrical insulator (sub-conductor insulators and cable jacketing). It’s also cheap and easy to recycle. It’s technically termed “high-performance plastic” alongside other classes of plastics.
In agriculture, polyethylene is widely used in plasticulture, where plastic materials are used for some agricultural operations and manufacture of some farm inputs like silage bags, nursery pots, irrigation tubes, fumigation film and a host of other plastic soil and plant coverings.
It’s widely used in agriculture because of its flexibility and ease of manufacture, which makes it readily available.
Industrial use and impacts on the environment
Medium-density Polyethylene (MDPE) has countless industrial applications in consumer products as well. MDPE is widely used in manufacturing toys, bottles, ice boxes, and other household consumer products.
In all of its applications, Medium density polyethylene is non-toxic and safe for humans and the environment. Want to know more about this and other compounds from Polyexcel? Check our website.