Polyethylene - What is polyethylene?
Polyethylene (PE) is a type of polyolefin film (sometimes called “polythene” in the UK); a synthetic resin produced through the polymerisation of ethylene, polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic in the world because it has a large number of highly desirable properties that make it useful for a variety of purposes. As a thermoplastic polymer, polyethylene becomes liquid at its melting point, which means it is extremely easy to mould to shape and can be reheated and moulded into a new shape without significant degradation of the material.
While there are a variety of different kinds of polyethylene (each with its own set of useful properties and characteristics), as a general rule polyethylene is chosen because it is a lightweight material that is also tough and durable, and offers excellent resistance to moisture and chemicals (with some UV resistance), good insulation, good dimensional stability and tear resistance, is suitable for use in low temperature applications, and provides a much more flexible alternative to other plastics.
In labelling, polyethylene is most commonly used as a face material for labels and can be produced as a near-transparent, translucent, or opaque film – although it can also be used as a resin in printing inks.
At Label Planet, our polyethylene labels are off-white in colour with a matt finish and a marine standard adhesive; one example of our range of waterproof labels, they are especially popular for label applications where a label needs to be waterproof and/or able to adhere to curved or unusual surfaces (e.g. when labelling containers such as bottles and drums).Go Back to Glossary