What is polyethylene resin?


There are many types of resin.  For the plastic packaging industry, polyethylene resin is commonly used. It is a type of thermoplastic used to manufacture bags, tubing, sheeting, stretch and shrink films.  It is also a flexible composite.  Polyethylene, referred to as PE, is usually a mixture of polymers and ethylene.  It has mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical, and optical properties.  It absorbs almost no water, burns slowly and cannot be imprinted without pretreatment.  PE can become brittle when exposed to sunlight.  To avoid this a UV stabilizer must be added.

Why Does Poly Get a Bad Rap?

It was synthesized by a chemist who prepared it by accident in 1898.  Diazomethane was being investigated when a white waxy substance was created. This white waxy substance was again produced by applying extremely high pressure to a mixture of ethylene and benzaldehyde.

During the reaction, trace oxygen contamination was an issue, making it difficult to reproduce. Then in 1939 another chemist reproduced a high-pressure synthesis for polyethylene that became the basis for LDPE production.  All this testing has led to a wide variety of many resins available including high performance resins that started in 2005.


There are five main variations of resin types that are used for different purposes.

  • LLDPE. Linear low- density polyethylene, superior to conventional LDPE (low – density polyethylene) due to structural differences.
  • HDPE. High- density polyethylene or PEHD (polyethylene high – density) has a high strength to density ratio.
  • HEXENE .  The prefix HEX describes that they are 6 carbon atoms in the molecule while the suffix ENE shows that there is alkene involved.
  • SUPERHEXENE. High performance characteristics which provide maximum puncture and tear resistance.
  • METALLOCENE. Consists of two anions which are bound to a metal center and has catalytic properties.

Specific resins available with a variety of width and gauge combinations to fit your custom applications.

Encore Poly is a leader in polyethylene bags, plastic sheeting, box or carton liners and stretch film for a variety of industries and uses.  We provide direct from manufacturer service and prices for stock as well as custom products. Our goal is to continue to work diligently to accommodate your needs. Contact us with any inquiries you may have and we will produce a solution tailored to your specific requirements. You can reach our sales department at 201-845-4510.