Skip to main content
Select Source:

polyethylene

polyethylene (pŏl´ēĕth´əlēn), widely used plastic. It is a polymer of ethylene, CH2[symbol]CH2, having the formula (-CH2-CH2-)n, and is produced at high pressures and temperatures in the presence of any one of several catalysts, depending on the desired properties for the finished product. Polyethylene is resistant to water, acids, alkalies, and most solvents. Its many applications include films or sheets for packaging, shower curtains, unbreakable bottles, pipes, pails, drinking glasses, and insulation for wire and cable.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"polyethylene." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polyethylene." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polyethylene

"polyethylene." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/polyethylene

polyethylene

pol·y·eth·yl·ene / ˌpälēˈe[unvoicedth]əlēn/ • n. a tough, light, flexible synthetic resin made by polymerizing ethylene, chiefly used for plastic bags, food containers, and other packaging.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"polyethylene." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"polyethylene." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polyethylene

"polyethylene." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/polyethylene