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Polyethylene (abbreviation PE) is a thermoplastic with the simplified structural formula produced by chain polymerization of petrochemically produced ethene (CH2 = CH2).

Polyethylene belongs to the group of polyolefins and is partially crystalline and non-polar. It is by far the most widely used (standard) plastic worldwide and is primarily used for packaging. All types of polyethylene are characterized by high chemical resistance, good electrical insulation and good sliding behavior; however, the mechanical properties are only moderate compared to other plastics.

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