UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) | Plastic Ball Bearings all Made in Japan Kashima Bearings, Inc. Japan
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UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene)

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Characteristics of UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene)1 Characteristics of UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene)2

UHMW is a material with special features which make it quite popular for plastic bearings. 

(See tables below.)

Overview of UHMW

UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) is a unique, high molecular-weight thermoplastic resin. This special kind of polyethylene (consisting mainly of ethylene, a high molecular-weight olefinic plastic), is produced via advanced polymerization techniques and technology.

General polyethylene processing methods are also quite unique, however those of UHMW are truly distinct, providing special characteristics.

It can be a difficult material as it expands and contracts an unusual amount, affecting the surface finish. However, it also has excellent abrasion resistance, and it retains its properties at low temperatures.

Excellent chemical resistance, low water absorption, and lightweight. Safer than most plastics as even when burned, extremely low amount of toxic resin gases.

Relatively inexpensive considering its superior performance

Main Use Cases of UHMW

Coal and cement hoppers, scalpels, bearings, cogs, artificial joints, various kinds of gear, electroplating parts, ship parts, ice-skating floors, etc.

Features of UHMW

Highly Recommended   Recommended
Not Recommended  × Do Not Use

Material Call
Dry Irregular
In water /
In sea-water
Vapor Chemical Non-
Acid Alkali Organic

NOTE: For chemicals, please consult us regarding the type and concentration, etc. of such.

Temperature Resistance of UHMW

Best Recommended   Highly Recommended   Recommended 
Not Recommended  × Do Not Use

Material Call
-190℃~ -100℃~ -50℃~ -20℃~ Room
~120℃ ~200℃ ~350℃
UHMW PE × × × ×

NOTE: the shape of the bearing will change due to such temperatures.

For more information about tolerances and other issues, download a catalogue from here.