Posted on: 20 July 2021
Plastic is one of the most versatile materials used in production and manufacturing today. Plastic sheeting can be used to create a wide range of products.
Not all plastic sheeting is created equal. The durability and application of plastic sheeting can vary based on the cellular structure and molecular bonds found within the sheeting itself.
There are four primary types of plastic sheeting that can be found in manufacturing and production plants throughout the world. Understanding the differences between these four common plastic materials will allow you to select the sheeting that is best suited for your unique application.
1. Low-Density Polyethylene Sheeting
The cellular structure of low-density polyethylene sheeting is not as strong or dense as the cellular structure in other types of plastic products. While that might sound like a negative attribute, this loose cellular structure allows low-density polyethylene sheeting to be extremely flexible.
Manufacturers will often turn to low-density polyethylene plastics when they need good conformability to a variety of surfaces.
The thickness of low-density polyethylene sheeting can vary, making this a very versatile and popular type of plastic sheeting. Contact a company that sells LDPE sheets to learn more about this type of plastic sheeting.
2. Linear Low-Density Polyethylene
Plastic sheeting that is classified as linear low-density polyethylene is considered a blended product.
Different plastics are blended together to create a material with molecules that line up with one another. This molecular structure allows linear low-density polyethylene to be extremely flexible while retaining its overall strength.
You will commonly find linear low-density polyethylene sheeting used to make products like pond liners and carpet protection films.
3. Medium-Density Polyethylene
For applications that require both flexibility and strength, medium-density polyethylene is the plastic sheeting of choice. This unique type of plastic sheeting has a tighter cell structure than both low-density and linear low-density polyethylene.
A tighter cell structure makes it more difficult to puncture or tear the plastic sheeting when it is put to use. Medium-density polyethylene is also resistant to chemical erosion, so it can be used in environments where chemical contamination is a threat.
Many manufacturers will blend medium-density polyethylene sheeting with other types of plastic sheeting to help improve material strength without sacrificing flexibility.
4. High-Density Polyethylene
High-density polyethylene sheeting features the tightest cellular structure of all the plastic sheeting products in use today.
It is nearly impossible for any molecules to pass through a piece of high-density polyethylene at a microscopic level. This feature allows the high-density polyethylene sheeting to maintain a reliable barrier between materials.
When manufacturers need a product that is capable of withstanding damage when exposed to either chemicals or the UV rays found in sunlight, they opt for a high-density polyethylene.
The only drawback to this high-density plastic sheeting is that it tends to be a lot more rigid than other types of plastic sheeting. Some flexibility is retained, but high-density polyethylene will be much more rigid than its less dense counterparts.
Plastic sheeting comes in a wide range of densities. Each unique type of plastic sheeting has benefits and drawbacks that can affect the way the plastic performs over time. It's essential that you take the time to consider many factors before you invest in plastic sheeting for your next manufacturing project.
If you need your plastic sheeting to be durable and provide a seamless barrier, select sheeting that has a high-density cellular structure. If flexibility is more important than non-permeability, plastic sheeting with a low-density cellular structure will suffice.
You can also choose to mix different types of plastic sheeting together to combine the benefits each individual sheeting type offers into a single material.
With a solid understanding of the four most popular types of plastic sheeting, you will be prepared to incorporate this versatile material into your manufacturing and production activities in the future.Share