Short for “Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene,” UHMW happens to be one of the highest quality materials of its type available on the market today. Because of that, it’s very useful for a wide range of different projects – especially when it comes to tubing.
UHMW offers enhanced conductivity, is resistant to high temperatures and is known for its self-lubrication properties, among others. But when getting ready for their next project, many customers understandably have questions about what this material can do and why it matters such a great deal. Luckily, the answers are often very straightforward – they just require you to keep a few key things in mind.
The Ins and Outs of UHMW Tubing: An Overview
Maybe the biggest question that customers often have when discussing an upcoming project involves some variation of “UHMW may be high quality, but is it the right choice to meet my application’s needs?” In a word, “yes” – UHMW tubing is widely used in a number of industries including automotive, industrial, military and defense and more. It’s regularly employed for high quality material handling solutions as well as for conveyor parts and everything in between. Therefore, the chances are high that UHMW is the premiere choice for what you’re trying to accomplish.
At Spiratex, we also often have customers inquire about whether UHMW tubing is acceptable for use in heavily sunlit environments. After all, indoor applications come with very, very different requirements than outdoor ones. The good news is that yes, UHMW is perfectly acceptable for these conditions thanks to its ultraviolet stabilization qualities.
Ultraviolet stabilization means that damage from UV radiation can be slowed or even prevented entirely. A special type of UV stabilizer can be added to UHMW before extrusion, thus making prolonged exposure to sunlight (or even artificial sources of UV rays) something that you don’t have to worry about any longer. In fact, UHMW tubing that is made with this level of UV stabilization can last a decade or longer under normal exposure to the sun. The same cannot be said of other types of materials you may be thinking of using.
Another question that customers have often involves whether they should use standard sizes of UHMW tubing or if custom designs will be needed to accomplish their goals. Naturally, this will depend heavily on the project itself. The good news is that UHMW tubing is nothing if not versatile, allowing Spiratex to use our expertise to design custom tubing that will meet your exact specifications, no matter what. In addition to taking into consideration the inside and outside diameter, UHMW is malleable enough to allow us to easily design custom pieces like square, rectangular and even special hollow options.
In general, UHMW tubing brings with it a number of important characteristics that our customers end up benefiting from. In addition to being biologically inert, it’s also available in a plethora of different colors and blends that are able to be used for any FDA food contact applications they may have. It’s water repellent, it’s got exceptional insulating properties, offers low friction and has a very high impact strength. Based on all of this, it’s easy to see why UHMW tubing has become such a popular choice with so many organizations over the last few years in particular.
If you’d like to get answers to even more common questions that customers frequently have about UHMW tubing, or if you’d just like to talk to an expert about your next big project in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Spiratex today.