Grade Slate 101

Understanding how we name our grade slates will be key to choosing the right melt index and density you need. Check out our unique naming convention below to know exactly what to look for when perusing our product bulletins.

Density

Graphic displaying “18F1B1.” “18” is highlighted in red.

Density is reflected by the first two numbers found in the nomenclature sequence, which in this instance is 18. These numbers represent the last two significant digits of the density value. See examples below.

18 = 0.918 density
53 = 0.953 density
63 = 0.963 density

Process

Graphic displaying “18F1B1.” “F” is highlighted in red.

Process is reflected by the second letter(s) found in the nomenclature sequence, which in this instance is F. See examples below.

B = Blow Molding: Slurry
BG = Blow Molding: Gas Phase
F = Film
N = Injection Molding
P = Pipe
R = Rotomolding

Melt Index

Graphic displaying “18F1B1.” “1” is highlighted in red.

Melt index is reflected by the third number found in the nomenclature sequence, which in this instance is 1.

If the product’s melt index is >1, the value displayed in the nomenclature sequence is rounded to the nearest integer value.

If the product’s melt index is <1, the value displayed in the nomenclature sequence has a leading zero to indicate it should be a decimal.

Example: 035 = 0.35

“HL” indicates HLMI.

Comonomer Type (Film)

Graphic displaying “18F1B1.” “B” is highlighted in red.

For film grades, comonomer type is reflected by the fourth letter in the nomenclature sequence, which in this instance is B. See examples below.

B = Butene, C4
H = Hexene, C6
M = Metallocene

Additives

Graphic displaying “18F1B1.” “1” is highlighted in red.

Additives are reflected by the fifth number or letter in the nomenclature sequence, which in this instance is 1. See examples below.

Film Grades
No number = Barefoot
AB only = Version 1
AB & Slip (level 1) = Version 2
AB & Slip (level 2) = Version 3

Non-Film Grades
A = Antistat
U = UV
S = Sheet

Polyethylene Product Families

Leveraging high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) in applications makes durable products that can also be abrasion-and chemical-resistant. So when a part needs to be strong, versatile, and produced quickly, HDPE and LLDPE are strong contenders.

HDPE

HDPE is a popular choice across a variety of industries because of its moisture and chemical resistance, impressive tensile strength and durability.

LLDPE

LLDPE has a variety of benefits and is known for its resistance to breaking or staining, molding capabilities and the ability to produce complex shapes.

Polyethylene Conversion Processes

Polyethylene plastic is used in a vast number of conversion processes. With so many potential end products, the demand for polyethylene has steadily increased for decades.

Film Extrusion

Film extruded LLDPE is used to make industrial and food packaging, stretch films and more.

Rotomolding

Rotomolded LLDPE and HDPE is used to make large products such as playgrounds, industrial containers and more.

Blow Molding

Blow molded HDPE is used to make hollow products such as industrial containers and drums, liquid containers and more.

Injection Molding

Injection molded LLDPE and HDPE is used to make caps, bottle closures, toys and more.

Pipe Extrusion

Pipe extruded HDPE is used to make conduit, corrugated and pressure pipe.

Markets

Due to its versatility, polyethylene products are used in a number of markets, ranging from Automotive to Healthcare, Personal Care products, Toys, and more.

Food & Beverage

Polymer packaging made with LLDPE or HDPE helps protect food from delivery and shipping to your kitchen.

Healthcare

Depending on the product’s desired properties, HDPE and LLDPE are used to make industrial packaging and blown film.

Automotive

Crates in this market benefit from the sheer tensile strength that only HDPE can provide.

Utilities

HDPE is one of the most popular pipe materials for utilities because of its strength and weather-resistant advantages.

Household

Durable and leak-resistant containers for household chemicals can be made with HDPE or LLDPE.

Industrial

Manufacturing products such as crates, blown film and drums benefit from HDPE or LLDPE, depending on the use case.

Outdoor Living

A popular choice for outdoor applications, HDPE and LLDPE ensures patio furniture can withstand the elements.

Toys

LLDPE and HDPE helps provides toys with flexibility and durability—keeping them safe from little hands that might break them.

Agriculture

HDPE and LLDPE are used to create containers that can safely store agricultural products.

Personal Care

Cosmetics containers made from HDPE are more durable, making the trip down the assembly line to the consumer’s cabinet a smooth one.

Ensuring Product Quality

Innovation Center

Innovation center building

The innovation center is fundamental to the resin qualification process and ongoing quality control. This 86,000-ft2 laboratory space houses industry experts who will work directly work with you to help you glean technical insights and perform preliminary tests on our lines to ensure that our resins will perform well on your lines.

 

Read more about the value our innovation center delivers.

Application Hall

Innovation center machinery

With the commercial-scale, film, injection molding, blow molding and pipe extrusion equipment in our application hall, we make specimens and parts that are similar to our customers’, which verifies that the resin functions in processing equipment the way that we expect.

 

Check out what our application hall can do for you.

Polymer Science Laboratories

Infographic of man looking at a microscope

In the material testing and inspection laboratory, we conduct in-depth studies characterizing the mechanical, processing and visual properties of a polymer. This includes rheology studies that provide understanding of how easily a resin can be processed.

In the application testing laboratory, we test specimens and parts made in the application hall, which helps to verify that the resin we manufactured has the required properties and our products satisfy the requirements or specifications of that grade.

 

Learn more about the testing in our polymer science laboratories.

Analytical Laboratory

Infographic of pencil and paper

By taking samples of finished product on a regular basis and measuring a wide range of parameters (including density and melt index), the analytical laboratory helps product operate correctly and efficiently.

The laboratory meets the requirements of FDA, GMP, USP and ISO 9001.

 

Read more about the analytical laboratory’s quality control and compliance measures.

SUPPLIER INSIGHTS & TIPS

Shell Polymers’ Industry-Leading Expertise

At Shell Polymers, we aim to lead the industry in innovative new polyethylene products and application development. Learn more about our product solutions and what we can do for your business.