This paper will seek to highlight the performance attributes of modern age polyethylenes, the use of which is being limited due to a lack of practical information in the marketplace, namely ambiguity over the definition of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE); lack of exposure to the performance characteristics of UHMWPE under real-life scenarios; and an incorrect perception of high pricing and lack of customisability.
This paper should condense not only the known UHMWPE information but also reflect it as a subset of piping applications specifically.
The UHMWPE family is traditionally thought of as the most impact and abrasion resistant of any PE, but it also has a technically unlimited number of grades (molecular weights) as defined by ISO 11542 (International Organization for Standardization 2001), which defines products only by their minimum melt flow index – an attribute not directly associable with abrasion or impact performance.
This paper will seek to distinguish specific mechanical data with reference to pipeline performance for specific grades, subsequently correlating and comparing against each other and the baseline PE product, high-density polyethylene (HDPE, PE100).
By directly comparing testing data and referencing site-specific performance, the author will endeavour to provide the first comprehensive article on this matter.
Keywords: scaling, wear, abrasion, slurry, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
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