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Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

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*5/10/2013
from 4/30/2012

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Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Materials

Polyethylene

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Notes

 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from petroleum. It was the first grade of polyethylene, produced in 1933 by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) using a high pressure process via free radical polymerization.  Its manufacture employs the same method today. LDPE is commonly recycled[citation needed] and has the number "4" as its recycling symbol. Despite competition from more modern polymers, LDPE continues to be an important plastic grade. In 2009 the worldwide LDPE market reached a volume of US$22.2 billion (15.9 billion Euro).

LDPE is defined by a density range of 0.9100.940 g/cm3. It is not reactive at room temperatures, except by strong oxidizing agents, and some solvents cause swelling. It can withstand temperatures of 80 C continuously and 95 C for a short time. Made in translucent or opaque variations, it is quite flexible, and tough but breakable.

LDPE has more branching (on about 2% of the carbon atoms) than HDPE, so its intermolecular forces (instantaneous-dipole induced-dipole attraction) are weaker, its tensile strength is lower, and its resilience is higher. Also, since its molecules are less tightly packed and less crystalline because of the side branches, its density is lower. LDPE contains the chemical elements carbon and hydrogen.

(Wikipedia, Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

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Copyright 2012 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
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* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 4/30/2012.

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