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Polyolefin - Polyolefins are the largest group of thermoplastics, often referred to as commodity thermoplastics, they are polymers of simple olefins such as ethylene, propylene, butenes, isoprenes, and pentenes, and copolymers and modifications thereof. The term polyolefins means "oil-like" and refers to the oily or waxy feel that these materials have. Polyolefins consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms and they are non-aromatic. Polyolefins are usually processed by extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, and rotational molding methods. Thermoforming, calendering, and compression molding are used to a lesser degree. An inherent characteristic common to all polyolefins is a nonpolar, nonporous, low-energy surface that is not receptive to inks, and lacquers without special oxidative pretreatment. The two most important and common polyolefins are polyethylene and polypropylene and they are very popular due to their low cost and wide range of applications.

Polyolefins are the largest group of thermoplastics, the two most important and common types of polyolefins are polyethylene and polypropylene. Polyethylene was discovered as an unexpected experimental result in 1931 at the research laboratory of Imperial Chemical Industries. The research was continued because polyethylene was seen to have many suitable properties, and the first plant went online in 1939 just before World War II. High density polyethylene was produced in the mid 1950s followed shortly by the discovery and rapid exploration of polypropylene.


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  • Automotive Applications (151)
  • Wire & Cable Applications (141)
  • Film (89)
  • Plastics Modification (68)
  • Packaging (62)
  • Food Packaging (54)
  • Automotive Exterior Parts (53)
  • Automotive Interior Parts (53)
  • Insulation (47)
  • Automotive Bumper (46)
  • 136 more...
  • Flame Retardant (172)
  • Halogen Free (155)
  • UV Resistant (98)
  • Good Processability (93)
  • Good Flexibility (81)
  • Good Impact Resistance (79)
  • Low Temperature Impact Resistance (76)
  • High Flow (74)
  • High Impact Resistance (74)
  • Recyclable Material (73)
  • 168 more...


  • High thermal expansion
  • Poor weathering/UV resistance
  • Subject to stress cracking
  • Difficult to bond
  • Flammable
  • Poor temperature capability