Comparing Crosslink Polyethylene Resins to High Density Linear Polyethylene Resins

February 8, 2012

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The technology behind linear HDPE (or Heavy Duty Polyethylene) is constantly changing and improving, but crosslink PE (Polyethylene) technology has not changed at all.

The last two decades have brought countless advancement. Crosslink was considered superior over linear during the 1980s, although that is now no longer the case. Today’s linear HDPE tanks perform a lot better than crosslink PE tanks when used to store volatile chemicals. Linear HDPE tanks can utilize sturdy, high performance welded fittings that a welder is proficient in repairing, which is not true of crosslink.

• The industry used more than 900 million pounds of all types of resin in the past year

• Crosslink represented less than 5%. The main use of crosslink makes up half of the 5%, which includes molding tanks and bladders for oil, hydraulic fluid, and gasoline. Since many are switching to linear HDPE, every year sees a decline in crosslink resin. The market for crosslink is primarily in the car and tractor manufacturing industry for the storage of petroleum products.

• It is not necessary to use crosslink with chemical storage tanks and most chemical tanks have moved over to linear technology (a less expensive option). PE tanks are used to store certain chemicals, and the most commonly stored are sulfuric acid and sodium hypo chloride. When these chemicals are used with a crosslink tank, it loses impact resistance, ductility, and tensile strength.

• Today’s linear resins are far more capable of withstanding exposure to ultraviolet rays than crosslink, and expect a linear tank to last a lot longer than a crosslink tank.

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