Importance of Linear Low Density Polyethylene

Importance of Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)


Importance of Linear Low Density Polyethylene. It is synthetic by copolymerization of ethylene with longer-chain olefins. LLDPE is mass-produced at lower temperatures and pressures. The process of production is used as of copolymerization of ethylene and butene, hexene, or octene. It is very flexible & can be used to make thinner films than HDPE or LDPE.

The properties of LLDPE are stiff in sheer and soft in extension. It may be recycled into other products including trash can liners, floor tiles, compost bins, and shipping envelopes. LLDPE is primarily used for plastic shopping bags & sheets, plastic wraps, stretch wraps.


LLDPE varies basically from conventional low-density polyethylene (LDPE) due to the deficiency of long-chain branching. It is the best common type of plastic sheeting. It is very flexible as maximum frequently from 0.5 mil thick to about 40 mil in flexible sheeting forms. Because of its flexibility is fits in well with a diversity of surfaces.

Scientists successively produced PEs with many properties and structures by using changed catalysts and polymerization methods. For example, LLDPE was announced by the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1968.

LDPE is made from gaseous ethylene below very high pressures. That pressure ranges up to 350 megapascals, or 50,000 pounds per square inch. Also kept high temperatures up to 350° C, or 660° F in the existence of peroxide inventors. These processes return a polymer arrangement with together long and short branches. Consequently, LDPE is lone partly crystalline, returning a material of high flexibility.


LLDPE is operationally the same as LDPE. It is prepared by copolymerizing ethylene with 1-butene. It is also made with smaller amounts of 1-hexene and 1-octene. The catalysts are used Ziegler-Natta or metallocene. The subsequent structure has a linear backbone. But it has short, unchanging branches. That branches like the longer branches of LDPE, stop the polymer chains from packing narrowly together. The core advantages of LLDPE are;

  • The polymerization conditions are fewer energy-intensive
  • The polymer’s properties can be changed by changing the type and amount of the comonomer.

Generally, LLDPE has alike properties to LDPE and contests for similar markets.


The production of LLDPE is started by transition metal catalysts. That is mainly the Ziegler or Philips type of catalyst. The real polymerization process may be completed moreover in the solution phase or in the gas phase reactors. Generally, octene is the comonomer in the solution phase. In a gas phase reactor, butene and hexene are copolymerized with ethylene. LLDPE is the thermoplastic of polymer type.


  • LLDPE has greater tensile strength than LDPE.
  • It has a higher impact and puncture resistance than does LDPE.
  • It is exact flexible and stretches under stress.
  • It may be used to create thinner films.
  • It has enhanced environmental stress cracking resistance related to LDPE.
  • It has very well resistance to chemicals.
  • LLDPE has good electrical properties.


  • It has lower brightness than LDPE.
  • Thinner temperature range for heat sealing.
  • It is not as simple to process as LDPE.


LLDPE has exclusive rheological or melts flow properties. It is less shear sensitive due to its narrower molecular weight distribution. It is less shear sensitive because of shorter chain branching. For example extrusion, LLDPE remains more viscous during a shearing process. Therefore, it is tougher to process than an LDPE of a comparable melt index. The lesser shear sensitivity of LLDPE lets for faster stress relaxation of the polymer chains. What happens during extrusion. So, the physical properties are susceptible to changes in blow-up ratios.

LLDPE has lesser viscosity at all strain rates in melt extension. It is meaning that it would not strain to harden the way LDPE does when elongated. LDPE proves an affected increase in viscosity due to chain entanglement for example the deformation rate of the polyethylene increases. This occurrence is not perceived with LLDPE because of the absence of long-chain branching in LLDPE. That permits the chains to slip by one another upon elongation deprived of becoming entangled.

This typical is significant for film applications. Because LLDPE films may be down-gauged simply while upholding high strength and toughness. LLDPE may be recycled however into other things. For example;

  • Trash can liners
  • Lumber
  • Landscaping ties
  • Floor tiles
  • Compost bins, and
  • Shipping envelopes

Important Properties

      • Density (g/cm2)                                0.92
      • Tensile Strength (MPa)                        20
      • Elongation at break(%)                        500
      • Max Operating Temp (0c)                       50
      • Surface Hardness                              SD48
      • Water Absorption(%)                          0.01
      • Melting Temp Range(0C)                       220-260
      • Mould Shrinkage(%)                           3

Uses and Market Data​

  • Worldwide, about 80% of LLDPE goes into film applications. For example food and non-food packaging, shrink or stretch film and non-packaging uses.
  • The tendency in food packaging films is in the direction of high-performance film structures. Those are not as permeable to upturn shelf life and improve flavours. Development is taking place from the transition of items packaged in unbending containers to high-quality flexible packages.
  • LLDPE is used in extrusion coating applications. At there, it supports protecting the contents of liquid containers. That is mainly for paper and paperboard packaging.
  • Non-food packaging applications are needing heavy-duty films. For instance customer, manufacturing and agricultural uses.
  • Nearby 5% of LLDPE demand accounts for the injection moulding sector. That has outlets for example lawn and garden products, kitchen fixtures, baggage and furniture parts, entertaining products and toys.
  • It is similarly used for plastic bags and sheets.
  • It is also used for plastic wrap, stretch wrap, pouches, toys, covers, lids, pipes, piles and containers, the wrapper of cables, geomembranes, and mostly flexible tubing.

Abundant of the development in LLDPE has been in the standby of LDPE. It has now passed LDPE in terms of market size to be the second-largest PE after high-density polyethylene. LDPE accounts for 52-53% of the joint LDPE-LLDPE market. Though its penetration of LDPE markets seems to have been accomplished in mature markets. For example, in North America, Western Europe and Japan, the outline of easy processing LLDPE might lead to additional replacement. In developing markets for instance China, more penetration of LLDPE into LDPE applications is predictable to continue.

Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.
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