ISPE Glossary of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Terminology

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PE (Polyethylene)

A thermoplastic material that varies from type to type according to the particular molecular structure of each type, i.e. its crystallinity, molecular weight, and molecular weight distribution. These variations are possible through changes in polymerization conditions used during manufacturing. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has a melt point of 221°F (105°C), specific gravity of 0.91 to 0.925 g/cc, increased toughness, stress cracking resistance, clarity, flexibility, and elongation. It also has reduced creep and mold shrinkage.

Polyethylene of higher density such as HDPE has better permeation barrier properties, hardness, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and surface gloss. It is important to note that photo or light oxidation will occur when natural PE is exposed to UV radiation, usually from the sun.

PE (Polyethylene)

Polymer material composed of carbon and hydrogen.

Publication Source: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) - 2009 Revision

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