The word polyethylene sounds like something scientific, technical and far away from our daily life, but this is a material that we use every day; moreover, polyethylene is more and more often put at the service of the creativity of designers and architects, and it is not only used to realise pipes and other objects, which are certainly very useful, but which often do not have much to do with creativity.
Polyethylene is very useful to make many common objects that we daily use, form plastic bags to food packaging, but it has invaded also other sectors thanks to its versatility, which makes it easy to be used in contexts that are very different from each other. This material has good mechanical properties and is particularly resistant to weathering; it is cheaper than other plastics and is characterised by excellent insulating properties; this is a material that has been used especially as insulation for electrical cables, to make many types of packaging, in the manufacturing of stretch film and bubble wrap, plastic tubes and caps. Undoubtedly all these objects are very useful, but probably they cannot satisfy out aesthetic taste.
However, polyethylene is used also in some sectors that we might define as more creative, first of all in the furniture sector, most notably for garden furniture. Polyethylene, indeed, is notably resistant to weathering, and for this peculiarity it is perfect to make chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture that by their nature are exposed to cold, sun and rain. Many garden pieces of furniture are realised with hularo, a synthetic material made from coloured polyethylene, which has the advantage of maintaining the peculiarities of form and colour unaltered over time. But polyethylene furniture are not only limited to the sector of external furniture, and make the best of themselves also inside our houses. It is true, indeed, that other materials that are used in the field of furniture, from wood to wrought iron, have undeniable aesthetic qualities, but it is also true that polyethylene, when it is worked in a given way, can add a touch of creativity to each house. Many manufacturers have launched chairs and other pieces of furniture characterised by a modern and refined design and use polyethylene to make colourful and original furniture, which are perfect to decorate modern rooms.
Another 'creative' field where polyethylene is much used is that of clothing and accessories, a sector where this material is not only used to make work clothing or protective cloth covers, but also to make skirts, pants and many other types of furniture, alone or together with other materials, as well as to make shoppers and bags. In these cases printed polyethylene is used, which is perfect to make original, colourful, resistant and very practical items.
To sum up, polyethylene is a material that is used in many different fields and can serve both functionality and creativity.
This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from shrink tubing. For more information, please visit polyethylene or printed film.