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What do airplanes, firetrucks, water tanks, and pickling plants have in common? In each of these seemingly unrelated applications semi-finished polyethylene (PE) sheets are used to solve a problem. In this article, we will describe the benefits of PE sheets as well as their recommended uses and applications. We will also list the various PE sheets available from AGRU including their sizes and specifications.
PE sheets available from AGRU
Polyethylene (PE) sheets by AGRU are tough, offer good chemical resistance, and function well in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +60°C (-40°F to 140°F). These PE sheets are available from AGRU as semi-finished products, which means that they are manufactured with a high degree of precision and consistency to be used reliably toward the creation of other finished products such as water tanks, pipe works, and equipment.
The physical and chemical properties of these sheets make them especially good in applications that require high durability, good electrical insulation, and good resistance to vibrations or other forces. Other benefits include high impact strength, high resistance to slow crack growth (especially for sheets made with PE 100-RC), nontoxicity, and high purity (for natural colored PE 100 sheets).
AGRU can manufacture three types of PE sheets: PE 100-RC black (pipe grade sheets), natural PE (high purity), and HDPE-el black (electrically conductive). Each type of sheeting offers specialized benefits. AGRU America regularly stocks PE 100-RC sheets measuring 5 ft. by 10 ft. in thickness ranging from 0.5 inch to 2 inches. These sheets can be ordered and delivered with a fast turnaround. The other sheets require a lead time of up to 4 to 6 weeks.
Use cases and applications of AGRU PE sheets
Black PE 100-RC sheets are most typically sold through distributors in the United States and used in piping applications. These pipe grade sheets are rated to perform well under pressure conditions, and the carbon black color provides enhanced resistance to ultraviolet radiation and weathering.
Black HDPE sheeting can also be used to create storage containers for chemical media like caustic agents. For example, PE 100-RC was used to create caustic soda (NaOH) storage containers within a water purification plant. The new tanks featured improved chemical resistance over the previous metal container. The new containers allowed an increase to the concentration of the caustic solution from 20% to 50%, which reduced operating costs of the treatment process (1).
Thin-walled black PE sheets can be used in applications where weight is critical. For example, AGRU thin-walled black PE sheets were used to create the sewage water tanks for the vacuum toilet system in the Airbus A340-500/600 HG (2).
Electrically conductive polyethylene (HDPE-el ESD) is a sheeting material that can conduct electrical charge. HDPE-el ESD is well suited in the construction of containers designed to transport highly flammable compounds. HDPE-el ESD can also be used in sensitive applications where a buildup of electrostatic charge must be prevented.
Semi-finished product solutions by AGRUIn addition to offering black HDPE sheeting, AGRU offers a range of semi-finished products including sheets, welding rods, and round bars made of PP, PVDF, ECTFE, FEP, and PFA. These products are part of AGRU’s material pyramid for semi-finished products (Figure 1). As the Plastics Experts, AGRU is committed to delivering the most cost-effective, optimal product for each application. While most applications use standard materials such as PE and PP, ultra-high–performance materials like PFA and FEP are available to resist extreme temperatures and corrosives. To learn more about AGRU semi-finished products and guidance on selecting the right material for your next project, reach out to an AGRU America representative today. Start a Project
- 1. “PE 100-RC caustic soda storage containers within a water purification plant.” AGRU. Accessed online 27 April 2020. https://www.agru.at/en/applications/semi-finished/pe-100-rc-caustic-soda-storage-containers/.
- 2. “Sewage water tank sealed by PE liner on Airbus.” Accessed online 27 April 2020. https://www.agru.at/en/applications/semi-finished/sewage-water-tank-of-toilets-with-pe-liner/.