How to Choose the Right UHMWPE for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best UHMWPE


UHMWPE, also known as Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, is a material with a wide range of uses. It's strong and lightweight, making it ideal for numerous applications, such as wear strips, bearings, and medical implants. It exhibits a range of desirable properties, such as low friction, dimensional stability, impact resistance, and chemical and moisture resistance. Buying UHMWPE for a given application can be a complex process, so in this guide we'll provide an overview of the key considerations, including grades and specifications, durability and safety factors, and cost. With this information, you'll be able to make an informed decision about the best UHMWPE product for your needs.

Key features

  1. Durability: UHMWPE is extremely durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures. It is corrosion resistant and has a long lifespan.
  2. Chemical Resistance: UHMWPE is also resistant to most chemicals, acids, and alkalis.
  3. Impact Resistance: UHMWPE has excellent impact resistance and can handle high levels of force without deforming.
  4. UV Resistance: UHMWPE is resistant to ultraviolet radiation and does not degrade when exposed to sunlight.
  5. Food Grade: Some grades of UHMWPE are food grade and can be used in food processing and storage applications.
  6. Cost: UHMWPE can be expensive compared to other materials, but its long lifespan and durability make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.

See the most popular UHMWPE on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Durability: UHMWPE is known for its incredible strength and it is highly resistant to wear and tear and corrosion.
  • Lightweight: UHMWPE weighs much less than other materials, which makes it easier to transport and install.
  • Chemical Resistance: UHMWPE is highly resistant to most acids, alkalis, solvents, and other chemicals.
  • Heat Resistance: UHMWPE can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees Celsius without degrading.
  • Non-Toxic: UHMWPE is non-toxic, so there is no need to worry about poisoning or contamination when using it.
  • Low Friction: UHMWPE has a low coefficient of friction, which makes it ideal for applications that require sliding or low-friction contact.
  • Cost-Effective: UHMWPE is less expensive than other materials, which makes it a great choice for budget-conscious buyers.


  • Cost: UHMWPE can be expensive compared to other alternatives for industrial and consumer applications.
  • Impact Resistance: Although UHMWPE offers superior impact resistance compared to many other materials, it may not be suitable for applications that require extreme impact resistance.
  • Chemical Resistance: UHMWPE has limited chemical resistance, and is not recommended for applications that will involve exposure to certain chemicals.
  • Surface Hardness: UHMWPE has a relatively low surface hardness compared to other materials, and may be prone to scratching and other surface damage.
  • Moisture Absorption: UHMWPE is highly susceptible to moisture absorption, which may affect its physical and mechanical properties.

Best alternatives

  1. Polypropylene (PP) - A thermoplastic polymer used in a variety of industries, including medical, packaging and automotive.
  2. Polyethylene (PE) - A plastic polymer with a wide operating temperature range and strength.
  3. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - A fluoropolymer with excellent chemical and electrical resistance.
  4. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - A strong plastic material used in a variety of applications.
  5. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) - A thermoplastic polymer used in the production of car parts, toys and other products.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Drill Bit - A specialty drill bit designed for cutting/drilling UHMWPE.
  • Tapping Screws - Screws specifically designed for tapping into UHMWPE.
  • UHMWPE Tape - A tape specifically designed for adhering and patching UHMWPE.
  • Rivets - Non-corrosive rivets for creating strong joints in UHMWPE.
  • Gaskets - A variety of gaskets for creating tight seals in UHMWPE.
  • Protective Wear - Gloves, face shields, and other protective wear for working with UHMWPE.
  • Cleaning Supplies - Chemicals and solvents specifically designed for cleaning UHMWPE.
  • Adhesives - Adhesives specifically designed for bonding UHMWPE.
  • Sealants - Sealants specifically designed for sealing and waterproofing UHMWPE.

Common questions

  1. What is UHMWPE? UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) is a highly durable, lightweight, thermoplastic material that is resistant to abrasion, wear, and corrosive chemicals.
  2. What are the benefits of using UHMWPE? UHMWPE offers a high strength-to-weight ratio, is self-lubricating, and is resistant to abrasion, wear, and corrosive chemicals.
  3. What types of products are commonly made with UHMWPE? UHMWPE is commonly used to make components for a variety of industries and applications, such as medical, marine, and heavy industrial parts.
  4. What should I consider when buying UHMWPE? When buying UHMWPE, you should consider the product’s application, the size and shape of the desired part, the required strength-to-weight ratio, the required tolerance, the cost, and the lead time.


UHMWPE, also known as Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, is one of the world's strongest and toughest thermoplastics. It's so strong, in fact, that it can actually withstand a bullet! According to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UHMWPE was tested with a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, and the UHMWPE was able to stop the bullet from penetrating it. This surprising discovery has made UHMWPE the material of choice for bulletproof vests and other protective gear. Source

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.