Poly­ethy­le­ne foam

Poly­ethy­le­ne (PE) foam gra­des are often used in the pack­a­ging indus­try. This clo­sed-cell mate­ri­al can be grou­ped into cross-lin­ked and non-cross-lin­ked PE foam. Cross-lin­ked PE foam com­pri­ses inter­con­nec­ted poly­mer chains that form a three-dimen­sio­nal grid. This type of foam can be eit­her che­mi­cal­ly or phy­si­cal­ly cross-lin­ked. Both varie­ties exhi­bit a uni­form, clo­sed-cell struc­tu­re that is asso­cia­ted with many bene­fits, inclu­ding an incre­a­se in tem­pe­ra­tu­re resis­tance as well as impact strength and ten­si­le cracking strength. At the same time, the clo­sed-cell struc­tu­re of the PE foam makes it “water­pro­of” without having to app­ly any addi­tio­nal coa­ting.

Non-cross-lin­ked PE foam con­sists of poly­mer chains that are not con­nec­ted to each other, which crea­tes an open-cell struc­tu­re that per­mits a cer­tain degree of water absorp­ti­on whilst redu­cing heat resis­tance of the mate­ri­al. This effect is due to the fact that the poly­mer chains can be sepa­ra­ted from each other more easi­ly, resul­ting in a signi­fi­cant­ly lower mel­ting point. Non-cross-lin­ked PE foam is often used in the pack­a­ging indus­try becau­se its key pur­po­se is to ensu­re pro­tec­tion of packa­ged pro­ducts and impact absorp­ti­on. Cross-lin­ked mate­ri­als are pri­ma­ri­ly used in engi­nee­ring app­li­ca­ti­ons, which is whe­re various gra­des with anti­sta­tic and fla­me-resistant pro­per­ties are avail­ab­le in a lar­ge num­ber of dif­fe­rent colours.

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