- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 Apr 2019
Polyethylene is produced from ethylene which is typically obtained from petroleum or natural gas, as well as from less common renewable sources. Polyethylene has a wide range of uses, predominantly as packaging in the form of bags, sacks, films, geomembranes, containers, pipes, and so on.
Polyethylene has high ductility and impact strength as well as low friction and is a good electrical insulator. It also has good resistance to moisture. However, its uses are limited by its relatively low melting point of around 80 °C (176 °F), its low strength, hardness and rigidity.
Polyethylene can pose problems for waste management as it is non-biodegradable and so accumulates in large quantities in landfill sites. If it is incinerated, it can, under some circumstance, produce harmful gaseous emissions.
Its precise properties depend on the variable extent and type of branching, molecular weight and crystal structures. Different classifications are used for different applications; for example, high-density polyethylene is often used for pipes that are corrosion-resistant and leak-free.
- Sheet (film) to provide protection for materials and seal off rooms.
- Damp-proof membranes (DPM).
- A loose lining material for foundations.
- To protect concrete during the curing process.
- A temporary flashing material for doors, windows and so on.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Guidance for local authorities and consultancies setting planning conditions.
A real deal – at last?
How does anastylosis help in the reconstructing of ancient monuments?
More than just aesthetic and historic values and meanings.
An exciting and novel collaboration between the RIBA and the SPAB.
Republic of Ireland updates to planning and development.
The different types of pile foundation.
Achieving a net-zero carbon UK by 2050.
Responding to an invitation to tender.
Statutory instruments laid in Parliament to amend the Climate Change Act.
How will we pay for infrastructure post-Brexit after EIB has gone?