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Why is Polyethylene used so often?
- Oct 10, 2018 -

Polyethylene is an incredibly useful commodity plastic. Because of the diversity of PE variants it is incorporated into a wide range of applications. Unless it is required for a specific application, we don’t typically use Polyethylene as part of the design process at Creative Mechanisms. For some projects, a part that will eventually be mass produced in PE can be prototyped with other more prototype-friendly materials like ABS.

PE is not available as a 3D printable material. It can be CNC machined or vacuum formed. 

How is PE made?

Polyethylene, like other plastics, starts with the distillation of hydrocarbon fuels (ethane in this case) into lighter groups called “fractions” some of which are combined with other catalysts to produce plastics (typically via polymerization or polycondensation). You can read about the process in more depth here.


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