A Comprehensive Guide to PE Film

What is PE Film?

PE Film, also known as Polyethylene Film, is a thin film material made from polyethylene. Depending on the processing methods and performance requirements, PE film can be divided into various types such as High-Density Polyethylene Film (HDPE film), Low-Density Polyethylene Film (LDPE film), and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene Film (LLDPE film), etc.
PE Film
Printed PE Laminated Film

Classification of PE Film

1. Classification by Density:
  • HDPE Film: High-Density Polyethylene Film, with good stretchability and tear resistance, commonly used for making garbage bags, shopping bags, etc.
  • LDPE Film: Low-Density Polyethylene Film, soft and high transparency, non-toxic and odorless, commonly used for making food preservation bags, pharmaceutical packaging bags, etc.
  • LLDPE Film: Linear Low-Density Polyethylene Film, combines the strength and durability of HDPE film with the softness and transparency of LDPE film, widely used for making packaging bags, agricultural films, etc.
  • MDPE Film: Medium-Density Polyethylene Film, also features softness and high transparency, commonly used for making garment bags, shoe bags, etc.
  • UHMWPE Film: Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Film, with excellent wear resistance, chemical resistance, and low friction coefficient, suitable for making high-end protective materials, sliding materials, etc.
2. Classification by Application:
  • PE Protective Film: Used to protect various materials surfaces from scratches, pollution, and damage. This film can be further classified according to density, color, and viscosity, etc.
  • PE Adhesive Packaging Film: Typical applications include adhering to vacuum packaging of hardware products, tool hardware, furniture hardware, automotive parts, lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Other Specific Application PE Films: Such as PE films used in specific areas like capacitors, battery isolation, etc.
3. Classification by Viscosity:
  • Ultra-Low Viscosity PE Film
  • Low Viscosity PE Film
  • Medium-Low Viscosity PE Film
  • Medium Viscosity PE Film
  • High Viscosity PE Film
  • Ultra-High Viscosity PE Film

Performance Characteristics of PE Film

  1. Excellent Mechanical Properties: PE film exhibits high strength and hardness, capable of withstanding large tensile and compressive forces without easy breakage. This enables it to effectively protect packaged goods and products from external damage. Additionally, PE film also possesses good abrasion resistance and tear resistance, further enhancing its durability in practical applications.
  2. Outstanding Barrier Properties: PE film has excellent gas barrier properties, especially its ability to block air and oxygen. This helps prevent oxidation and spoilage of products inside the packaging, thereby extending the shelf life of the products. Furthermore, PE film can effectively block the permeation of moisture and other liquids, ensuring the dryness and integrity of the packaging contents.
  3. Excellent Chemical Resistance: PE film exhibits excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, and corrosion, able to withstand the erosion of various chemicals. This makes it particularly advantageous for packaging chemical products, pesticides, and other corrosive products, ensuring the safety and stability of the products.
  4. Moisture Resistance and Moisture Permeability: PE film has good moisture resistance and low moisture permeability, effectively preventing water penetration and protecting products from moisture. This characteristic enables PE film to maintain its good performance even in humid environments, ensuring the dryness and safety of the packaging contents.
  5. Environmental Friendly and Recyclable: PE film is a recyclable material, meeting environmental requirements. Through proper recycling and processing, it can reduce environmental pollution and achieve resource recycling.

Applications of PE Film

  1. Packaging Industry: PE film plays a significant role in the packaging industry. It serves as packaging material for a variety of goods such as sanitary products, food, pharmaceuticals, beverages, electronics, and hardware products, effectively protecting them from external environmental factors like moisture, oxygen, and dust. Additionally, PE film also boasts excellent printing performance to meet diverse packaging needs.
  2. Agriculture: PE film finds wide applications in agriculture. It is commonly used as greenhouse covering material, effectively regulating temperature and humidity inside the greenhouse to provide optimal growth conditions for crops. Moreover, PE film is utilized as agricultural mulch film to retain soil moisture, increase soil temperature, and promote crop growth.
  3. Construction Industry: In the construction field, PE film is frequently employed as waterproofing material for roofs, basements, bathrooms, and other waterproofing layers. Its excellent waterproofing performance effectively prevents buildings from water erosion and extends their service life. Furthermore, PE film can also be used as insulation material to enhance building insulation.
  4. Electronics Industry: In the manufacturing process of electronic products, PE film is widely used to protect vulnerable parts such as screens and casings. It effectively prevents scratches, fingerprints, and dust contamination, thereby improving the appearance quality and service life of the products.
  5. Automobile Manufacturing: In the automobile manufacturing process, PE film is used to protect the exterior surfaces of vehicles such as body paint, lights, mirrors, etc. This not only prevents damage to vehicles during manufacturing and transportation but also maintains the cleanliness and aesthetics of the vehicles.

Production Process of PE Film

  1. Raw Material Preparation: Select high-quality polyethylene resin as the raw material and add appropriate additives such as antioxidants and antistatic agents according to the product performance requirements to enhance the performance of the PE film.
  2. Extrusion Molding: Mix the polyethylene granules and auxiliary materials in a certain proportion and heat them through an extruder. Inside the extruder, the screw pushes the mixture into the heating zone to melt it. Under high temperature and pressure, the mixture is extruded into a continuous plastic melt flow through the die.
  3. Blow Molding: The melted polyethylene flows through a narrow slit and is squeezed into a flat film. During blow molding, the tubular film is inflated to the desired thickness through high-pressure air and then cooled and shaped. The blow-up ratio, which is the ratio of the diameter of the blown film bubble to the diameter of the unblown tube ring, is one of the key process parameters for controlling film performance.
  4. Coating: Prepare the adhesive according to the specifications and application fields of the PE protective film, and then evenly coat the adhesive on the substrate using a professional coating machine.
  5. Printing: Use a gravure printing machine to immerse the printing plate in the ink tank, remove the ink from the non-engraved parts with a doctor blade, and then transfer the ink to the substrate under the action of the impression roller.
  6. Cooling and Solidification: The formed film enters the cooling device and is rapidly solidified through air cooling or water cooling to ensure that the film has good physical properties.
  7. Rewinding and Slitting: After cooling and solidification, the film undergoes rewinding and slitting steps. Rewinding involves rewinding semi-finished and finished products on a inspection machine, and if the product does not meet the sample standards, it is rejected. Slitting is to cut the film roll into specified sizes according to customer requirements.
  8. Packaging: Finally, the inspected and segmented PE film products are transported to fully automatic packaging machines for professional packaging.
PE Film Production Process

Specifications of PE Film

  1. Thickness: The thickness of PE film varies widely, with common thicknesses ranging from 0.01mm to 0.2mm. Thicker options are also available, such as 0.12mm, 0.15mm, 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm, 1.5mm, and 2.0mm. Different thicknesses of PE film are suitable for different applications, and selection can be based on specific needs.
  2. Width: The width of PE film is also an important specification parameter, typically ranging from 100mm to 2000mm. The width can also be customized according to customer requirements to meet the needs of different applications in various fields.

Differences Between PE Film and Other Types of Films

  1. CPP Film: CPP film, also known as Cast Polypropylene, is a type of polypropylene (PP) film produced through the cast extrusion process. It is a non-oriented film with only a certain degree of orientation in the machine direction (MD) due to its processing nature.
    • Mechanical Properties: CPP film typically has higher mechanical strength, especially tensile strength, compared to PE film.
    • Density: The density of CPP film (0.91) is slightly lower than that of PE film (0.93).
    • Cold Resistance: PE film performs well at temperatures down to -18 degrees Celsius, while CPP film becomes brittle at freezing temperatures.
    • Transparency: CPP film usually has better transparency than PE film.
    • Chemical Stability: PE film exhibits better chemical resistance than CPP film.
    • Applications: CPP film, known for its good transparency, high glossiness, and stiffness, finds wide applications in sectors like clothing, flower packaging bags, document sleeves, and food packaging.
  2. PET Film: PET film, also known as polyester film, is a comprehensive packaging film with excellent properties. It is typically produced by extrusion blow molding or casting from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
    • Mechanical Properties: PET film possesses excellent mechanical properties, including rigidity, hardness, toughness, puncture resistance, and abrasion resistance.
    • Chemical Stability: PET film exhibits good resistance to chemical agents and oils.
    • Price: PET film usually commands a higher price.
    • Applications: PET film is a commonly used barrier film substrate and finds extensive use in the packaging industry.
  3. PA Film: PA film, also known as nylon film, is a highly durable film with excellent transparency and glossiness.
    • Material Characteristics: Nylon film exhibits good tensile strength and other physical properties.
    • Applications: Nylon film has applications in various fields, including food packaging and industrial packaging.

Factors Influencing the Price of PE Film

  1. Raw Material Prices: The main raw material of PE film is polyethylene, the price of which is influenced by factors such as petroleum prices. Fluctuations in the international crude oil market can lead to instability in polyethylene prices, thereby affecting the cost and price of PE film. Additionally, differences in the prices of polyethylene materials of different types and brands can also impact the price of PE film.
  2. Production Costs: Various factors related to raw material costs, labor costs, equipment, and maintenance in the production and processing of PE film can influence its price. Particularly in modernized production processes, factors such as production processes and technological levels can have a critical impact on the price of PE film.
  3. Supply and Demand: There are numerous suppliers in the market, but there are differences in product quality, prices, etc. Some well-known international chemical giants have a large market share globally, while some domestic enterprises also have certain competitiveness. On the demand side, there are differences in demand from different regions and industries. The packaging industry has higher requirements for high transparency, durability, and recyclability, while the agricultural sector has higher requirements for light-blocking and weather resistance. These factors can affect the supply-demand balance of PE film, thereby affecting its price.
  4. Market Competition: In fierce market competition, production enterprises may adopt strategies such as price reductions and promotions to compete for market share, which can also affect the price of PE film.
  5. Environmental Policies: With the increasing environmental awareness, the demand for biodegradable and recyclable PE films is also increasing. Governments may introduce relevant policies to promote the development of green packaging, which can also affect the price of PE film.

The Advantages of PE Film in the Packaging Industry

  1. Excellent Flexibility and Stretchability: PE film has excellent flexibility and stretchability, making it easy to process and use. This allows PE film to easily adapt to various shapes and sizes of packaging requirements, providing tight wrapping for products to prevent damage during transportation.
  2. Outstanding Chemical Corrosion Resistance: PE film has excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, salts, and some organic solvents, making it an ideal choice for packaging corrosive or sensitive goods.
  3. Good Heat Resistance: PE film can maintain stable performance within a certain temperature range, suitable for packaging requirements under various temperature conditions.
  4. High Transparency: PE film has high transparency, allowing light to pass through, making the products clearly visible even after packaging, which helps improve the display effect of the products.
  5. Environmentally Friendly and Energy Saving: PE film is made of recyclable materials, exhibiting environmentally friendly and energy-saving characteristics. Using PE film for packaging helps reduce dependence on non-renewable resources, lowers waste emissions, and reduces environmental burdens caused by waste disposal, contributing to the sustainable development of society.
  6. Moisture and Dust Resistance: PE film can effectively prevent moisture and dust from entering the interior of the packaging, protecting the products from pollution and damage.
  7. Elegant Appearance: Stretching the PE film can form compact units, tightly wrapping the product trays together, presenting an elegant and generous appearance, which helps improve the grade and image of the products.

Storage and Transportation Precautions for PE Film

Storage Precautions:
  1. Temperature Control: PE film should be stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight. The ideal storage temperature is between 5°C and 30°C to avoid excessively high or low temperatures, which may cause material deformation or sticking.
  2. Humidity Management: Avoid contact of PE film with moist surfaces, as moisture may cause sticking or deterioration. Maintaining a lower relative humidity in the storage environment helps extend the shelf life of PE film.
  3. Avoid Sharp Objects: Place PE film away from sharp objects to prevent scratching or puncturing.
  4. Stacking Method: When stacking PE film, it is recommended to stack it vertically to avoid folding or compression.
  5. Fire Prevention Measures: The storage area for PE film should use fire-resistant materials, and fire-fighting facilities should be inspected regularly to prevent fire accidents.
  6. Follow Expiry Date: PE film generally has a shelf life of about one year. Expired protective film may lose its original performance, so it is necessary to follow the expiration date and replace it promptly.
Transportation Precautions:
  1. Packaging: PE film needs to be properly packaged during transportation to prevent it from being affected by external forces such as compression, impact, and vibration. Proper packaging layout and the use of fillers are key to protecting the integrity of the film.
  2. Transportation Environment: During transportation, attention should also be paid to temperature control, maintaining it between 5°C and 35°C to avoid the adverse effects of excessively high or low temperatures on the film.
  3. Avoid Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may cause aging of PE film material, reducing its protective performance. Therefore, during transportation, the film should be protected from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Application of PE Film in Personal Hygiene Field

Women’s Sanitary Pads and Liners
PE film, with its stretchable and waterproof characteristics, is widely used as the bottom film and surface material of women’s sanitary pads and liners. It helps prevent liquid leakage while ensuring product comfort and breathability.
Adult Diapers
In adult diapers, PE film also plays a key role. It is used as the bottom film of the diaper, effectively preventing urine leakage while maintaining dryness and cleanliness inside the diaper.
Personal Hygiene Packaging
Due to its moisture-proof and dust-proof properties, PE film is often used in the packaging of personal hygiene products such as wet wipes, cotton swabs, and other products, ensuring cleanliness and hygiene during storage and transportation.

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