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What is High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Material Used in Cutting Boards?

January 29, 2018

In the pursuit of the perfect cutting board material, you have most likely come across the material known as polyethylene. Polyethylene is a favoured material here at Cutting Board Services, and for good reason. With years of experience in the industry, we have come to value polyethylene as the perfect material for most cutting board applications. The question for most people is this: why? Specifically, why do we prefer to use polyethylene that is rated with a high molecular weight? Let's dig a little deeper into that question and see if we can guide you toward making your next cutting board purchase a polyethylene one.

Value of Polyethylene

A cursory investigation of polyethylene will lead you to a great many facts. Shortened to just 'poly', polyethylene is a common material used around the world for a variety of different industries where cleanliness, durability, and safety are all paramount. Polyethylene is highly regarded for its flexibility and this is emphasised no more clearly than in the formulation of the product. Polyethylene can be changed during its optimisation in order to cater to varying degrees of toughness. This toughness coincides with the level of the molecular weight. Let's briefly outline a table for reference before digging deeper into the material.

  1. Low Density (LDPE) - Flexible, ideal for products like shopping bags. Tends to stretch.
  2. Medium Density (MDPE) - Slightly stronger, more stable.
  3. High Density (HDPE) - Strong, mostly stiff, used most frequently in household cutting boards.
  4. High Molecular Weight (HMWPE) - The strongest polyethylene available. HMWPE is incredibly dense and extremely tough. High molecular weighted polyethylene is multiple times stronger than even the highest of high-density polyethylene.

High Molecular Weight Polyethylene

Now that we know a little bit about the different grades of polyethylene, we can explain why high molecular weighted polyethylene is the preferred option for most applications. When we look at polyethylene as a cutting board material, we are looking at something that is incredibly durable and extremely easy to keep safe. In cutting board applications you are going to have constant duress caused by a variety of different factors. Consider that a regular cutting board needs to fight acidity from food, cutting from knives, and trauma from other tools. Isn't it easy to see why a heavier duty material is more important?

Polyethylene is a high-quality material used by most industry professionals because it exists at the proper cross-section of durability and affordability. If you are interested in improving your cutting boards, reach out to Cutting Board Services today.

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