Everything you could possibly want to know about PE

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Tom Shelley reviews a 'must have' for the materials bookshelf

Tom Shelley reviews a 'must have' for the materials bookshelf

RAPRA has just published a "Practical Guide to Polyethylene", which seems to contain just about everything a user or potential user of this material might want to know in highly readable form. The clear manner in which it is set out is all the more striking when the reader discovers that has been authored by two Rumanians: Cornelia Vasile, from the Romanian Academy 'P.Poni' Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry and Mihaela Pascu, from the Biophysics Department of the 'Gr.T.Popa' Medicine and Pharmacy University.

As they observe, PE was discovered in 1933 by Reginald Gibson and Eric Fawcett working for ICI. It is now the largest volume polymer consumed in the world, and is as ubiquitous as glass, metal and paper, but in many cases, offers superior capabilities.

The main aim of the book is to provide practical information for the designer and user, especially as PE is now available in no less than eight different basic forms: Low density PE (LDPE), Linear low-density PE (LLDPE), Very low density PE (VLDPE), High density PE (HDPE), High molecular weight HDPE (HMWHDPE), Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer and Acrylic copolymer. Because PE has been around for a while, different processes and variants of processes have been developed to make it, and what you get depends on how it has been made and who you buy it from. The book looks at the pros of these versatile material variants and also cons such as: creep (cold flow), degradation and environmental stress cracking. A significant part of the book is devoted to processing and issues involved in designing and manufacturing commercial products.

The book is A4 format, 184 pages long and priced at £50.
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