Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 30, 2018
ASTM D4020-18

Standard Specification for Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Molding and Extrusion Materials


This specification provides for the identification of virgin, unmodified homopolymer ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) molding and extrusion plastic materials in the form of powder, granules, or pellets. This specification is not intended to differentiate between various molecular weight grades of commercially available UHMW-PE, nor does it function to provide specific engineering data for design purposes. Sampled specimens shall be tested for dilute solution viscosity.


1.1 This specification provides for the identification of virgin, natural color, unmodified homopolymer ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plastics molding and extrusion materials. This identification is made in such a manner that the seller and purchaser can agree on the acceptability of different commercial lots or shipments.

1.2 This specification also provides guidance for the characterization of UHMWPE materials based on various mechanical, thermal, electrical, and other analyses.

1.3 It is not intended to differentiate between various molecular weight grades of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene commercially available.

1.4 It is not the function of this specification to provide specific engineering data for design purposes.

1.5 Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylenes, as defined in this specification, are those linear polymers of ethylene which have a relative viscosity of 1.44 or greater, in accordance with the test procedures described herein.

1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.7 The following precautionary caveat pertains only to the test method portions in Section 7 and the Annex and Appendixes, of this specification: This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Note 1: This standard and ISO 11542-1 address the same subject matter, but differ in technical content. ISO 11542-1 provides a classification system based on various characteristics and a range of viscosity numbers determined in accordance with ISO 1628-3.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.15
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.1520/D4020-18
ICS Code: 83.140.99