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Partwell Group Cnc Engineer Specialist Polyethylene Components

By Author: Luke Gilrane
Total Articles: 73

One of our clients had a steel platen carrier that was damaging the carried goods. Partwell Group CNC engineered an equivalent polyethylene plastic component. Replacing the steel carrier with a polyethylene carrier meant that the tab on the plastic part was damaged as opposed to the client’s product, as you can see from the images. Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) offers good impact strength and outstanding wear and abrasion resistance; therefore the life of the product exceeded customer expectations.


Not only did the Partwell engineering department solve the main problem of damaging the goods, they also offered the client a number of extra benefits.

The steel part was expensive; therefore the client did not carry spare parts in stock, resulting in excessive downtime and change over time, this loss of production was not only expensive but affected customer service. Manufacturing in plastic was much more economical, so much so that the client now carries vast spare stocks. The CNC engineered plastic solution has also improved appearance as it will not easily dent or scratch, but more importantly it will not rust.

Our client was going through the process of reducing waste and improving corporate recycling as part of ISO 14001compliance; plastic can be recycled up to 10 times during its lifecycle and also has a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process.


The CNC Technical Sales Engineers pride themselves in working directly with clients to provide innovative solutions. Partwell have a growing machine shop, last year we purchased a new 5-axis CNC router for the production of bespoke 3D plastic components and this summer we have purchased a water jet cutting machine for the cutting of plastic, steel, rubber and many other materials.

The higher the molecular weight of polyethylene, the easier the polyolefine is to machine. HMWPE PE500 grade is very extensively used as a wear or abrasion resistant component on conveyors and chutes. UHMWPE PE1000 grade is the toughest of the Polyolefine. The ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene has extraordinary wear and abrasion properties which are ten times better than carbon steel.

Being slightly ‘softer’ HMWPE is often specified for food chopping boards because it does not blunt knives as quickly. Some of the Benefits are very good low temperature impact strength, freedom from environmental stress cracking, low coefficient of friction, tensile strength.

Often the answer to neglected bearing surfaces subject to wear and abrasion, UHMWPE stock shapes are produced by press sintered moulding. Many types carry FDA and BGA approval for use in contact with drugs and foodstuffs. It is also used for wear strips, conveyor belts, aggregate handling, food processing and bottling plants.
Partwell Group are a plastic sheet stockist, holding a vast range of plastic grades, everything from Polyethylene, to Acetal. All materials can be supplied as sheet, rod, or bespoke machined parts.

Useful Resources:
Water jet cutting from Partwell | Original story can be found online at Partwell

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