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Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), also known as high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) or high-performance polyethylene (HPPE), is a thermoplastic. It has extremely long chains, with molecular weight numbering in the millions, usually between 2 and 6 million. The longer chain serves to transfer load more effectively to the polymer backbone by strengthening intermolecular interactions. This results in a very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made. It is highly resistant to corrosive chemicals, with exception of oxidizing acids. Its coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal, and is comparable to that of PTFE, but UHMWPE has better abrasion resistance. It is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.
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