UHMWPE for marine structures

UHMWPE – Ultra High Molecular Weight Poly Ethylene – is used for marine structures to protect berthing structures like; jetties, quay walls, berthing dolphins and pontoons. It is used as an integrated part of the marine fenders or directly placed on the structure of concrete or steel. The reason for the use of UHMWPE above any other material is the outstanding characteristic for this purpose.



UHMWPE is the number one chose as facing of fender systems for berthing structures because of the following characteristics:

1 |

Wear resistance

Best among plastics, better than steel

2 |

​Impact resistance

Best among plastics, similar to steel

3 |

Low friction (wet and dry conditions)

Self-lubricating material

Definition of UHMWPE

Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a kind of linear polyethylene used as an engineering thermoplastic with excellent comprehensive properties, can be processed into a range of products like sheets, pipes, fibers and films.

It is primarily applied to high-end fields from body armour, bulletproof helmet, bulletproof armour and anti-cutting gloves to aerospace and marine equipment, rail transit, medical stents and lithium-battery separator. Industries in which UHMWPE is used are several such as: Automotive and Transportation, Electronics, Fibers and textiles, Industrial and Heavy Equipment, Material Handling, Oil and Gas, Pipe and Mining, Water Filtration and Recreation and Consumer.


UHMWPE is a member of the polyethylene family of polymers with the repeat unit [C2H4]n, with n denoting the degree of polymerization.

The international Standards Organization (ISO 11542) (ISO) defines UHMWPE as having a molecular weight of at least 1 million g/mole. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM D 4020) (ASTM) specifies that UHMWPE has a molecular weight greater than 3.1 million g/mole.


The UHMWPE used in maritime applications typically has a molecular weight between 1.0 million to 6.0 million g/mole.