Polyolefin - What is polyolefin?
Polyolefin refers to a group of polymers made from an olefin (also known as an alkene) monomer. As thermoplastics, these materials are popular because they are extremely easy to mould to shape and can be reshaped over and over again simply by repeating the heating, moulding, and cooling process. They range from liquid-like to rigid solids and provide lightweight materials that are also durable, flexible, and offer good resistance to chemicals, solvents, and moisture.
Common uses for polyolefins include shrink wrap, packaging (including food and electronic packaging), producing consumer goods and industrial products (including toys), manufacturing materials (including structural panels and piping systems), fibres for use in clothing (including waterproof items such as wetsuits) and other fabrics (such as water resistant carpets), in flexible foam technology (used to make shoes, seat cushions, armrests, spa pillows etc), strings for tennis rackets, bottles and containers, as heat shrink tubing to protect wires and new electronic components, and a variety of health applications (including storage bags and containers for blood components, infusions devices and tubes for intravenous fluids, surgical sutures, and prosthetics).
The most common examples of polyolefins are polyethylene (commonly used in shrink wrap and plastic shopping bags), polypropylene (used in food packaging, dishwasher-safe containers, and carpeting), and polybutene (in liquid form, this is commonly used in synthetic rubber, lubricants, and cosmetics).
At Label Planet, we use polyolefins as a face material for three of our waterproof labels; MWPE (matt white polyethylene labels), MWPO (matt white polyolefin labels) and MWPP (matt white polypropylene labels), both of which have a marine standard adhesive and are suitable for indoor or outdoor use on a range of surfaces (including those made of unusual materials and/or that have a curved surface).Go Back to Glossary