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SPI/SPD Technical Committee Guideline

A Guideline
for
Extruded
Polyethylene (PE) Sheet

Sheet Producers Division (SPD)


The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.
1801 K Street, N.W., Suite 600K
Washington, D.C. 20006
Printed: August 16, 2001
SPI/SPD 0994-02
AZ-107
A
SPECIFICATION FOR EXTRUDED SHEET,

0.010" AND ABOVE, IN WHICH POLYETHYLENE (PE)

RESIN(S) REPRESENT THE ONLY POLYMER(S)

PRESENT OR AT LEAST THE MAJOR SHEET

COMPONENT (>50%) IN BLENDS, ALLOYS, LAMINATES

OR COEXTRUDED COMPOSITES WITH OTHER

THERMOPLASTIC RESINS.

DISCLAIMER:
This Guideline was prepared by SPI and the Sheet Producers Division as a service
for its members. This recommended test procedure is voluntary, and is not
designed to be used as a standard or specification. Information provided herein
is offered WITHOUT WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO FITNESS,
MERCHANTABILITY, OR ANY OTHER MATTER.

Reviewed and Modified by:


SPI/SPD Technical Committee
Last Revision - 9/30/94

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 2
STANDARD SPECIFICATION FOR
EXTRUDED POLYETHYLENE (PE) SHEET

1. SCOPE

1.1 This specification covers all extruded sheet .010" and above, in which PE resin(s)
represent the only polymer(s) present or at least the major sheet component (>50%) in
blends, alloys, laminates or coextruded composites with other thermoplastic resins

1.2 This Standard 'Specification is the basis on which extruded PE sheet is judged, bought
and sold, unless other understandings and agreements are developed between the buyer
and seller.

1.3 This Standard Specification is based on the measurement and test results of extruded PE
sheet involving those performance parameters that can be controlled and conveniently
tested using current acceptable commercial practices.

1.4 This Standard Specification is not based on the performance of vacuum formed parts
produced from the sheet nor sheet components.

2. APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS

2.1 ASTM Standards


D-374 Thickness of Solid Electrical Insulation
D-883 Definition of Terms Relating to Plastics
D-1898 Recommended Practice for Sampling of Plastics
D-1238 Flow Rates of Thermoplastics by Extrusion Plastometer
D-1248 Polyethylene Plastics Molding and Extrusion Materials
D-1505 Standard Test Method for Density of Plastics by the Density
Gradient Technique

2.2 Other Documents

“Standards and Practices of Custom Sheet Extruders,” Sheet Producers Division., Society
of the Plastics Industry.

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 3
3. TERMINOLOGY

3.1 The plastic terminology used in this specification is in accordance with the definitions
given in definitions ASTM D-883.

3.2 Description of Terms Specific to this Standard.

3.2.1 “Nominal length, width and thickness” the length, width and thickness as specified and
shown on orders, invoices, product labels, literature and the like.

4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

4.1 Appearance, Color, Finish - The extruded PE sheet will conform to the agreement
reached between the buyer and seller and to accepted commercial practice.

4.2 Dimensions:

4.2.1 Size - The nominal length, width, and thickness of the PE sheet shall be agreed upon
between the buyer and seller.

4.2.2 Tolerances - Unless otherwise agreed upon between the buyer and seller, the following
tolerances represent PE sheet produced under accepted commercial practice. For sheet
wider than 48", tolerances should be agreed upon by the extruder and thermoformer.

4.2.2.1 Thickness - Thickness tolerances vary with the thickness~ a~ shown below:

SHEET THICKNESS TOLERANCE

0.010"-0.019" + 1.5 mils


0.020"-0.029" + 2.0 mils
0.030"-0.039" + 2.5 mils
0.040"-0.099" + 3.0 mils
0.100" & over + 4%

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 4
4.2.2.2 Width/Transverse Direction (TD) - Width Tolerance + 1/16" per foot.

4.2.2.3 Length/Machine Direction, (MD) - Length Tolerance varies + 1/4" or + 1/16"/ft.


whichever is greater.

4.2.2.4 Squareness - Squareness tolerance or difference between the diagonal measurements


(corner to corner) varies with the length of the diagonal as shown below:

LENGTH OF DIAGONAL TOLERANCE

Under 2' ±1/8


2' to 12' ±1/16" in/ft.
Over 12' Open (to be agreed upon by parties

4.2.2.5 Flatness - Flatness is a non-standard test and if a requirement, must be agreed upon
between the buyer and seller.

5. CLASSIFICATION

5.1 Other extruded PE sheet physical properties and requirements are classified into 5 cells.
Cells are limited to 5 performance parameters which are directly controlled by the
extruder in the sheet extrusion process. Therefore, extruded PE sheet is described with a
5 cell designation containing alphabetic letter units.

5.2 Cell I - Melt index as measured from sheet - See Table I below:

Table I:

Cell Level Condition


Description Melt Index (ASTM D-1238)

A <7 190/21.6
B 7-14 190/21.6
C 14.1-20 190/21.6
D 0.10-0.25 190/2.16
E 0.26-0.55 190/2.16
F 0.56-0.85 190/2.16
G 0.86 and up 190/2.16

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 5
5.3 Cell II - Density as measured from sheet.

Cell Level Description Density

A < 0.900
B 0. 900- 0.919
C 0.920-0.939
D 0.940-0.959
E 0.960+

5.4 Cell III - Sheet Orientation (% Shrinkage in the Machine Direction)

5.4.1 This cell denotes the amount of shrinkage (%) in the machine direction produced by a hot
air oven test described in Section 7.

5.4.2
Cell Level Designation Average Percent Shrinkage

A <10 Maximum
B 10-19
C 20-29
D 30-39
E 40-49
F 50-59
G 60-69
H 70-79
I 80-89
J >90

5.4.2.1 Allowable shrinkage range to be determined between buyer and seller.

5.5 Cell IV - Filled or Alloyed Material

This cell classifies PE sheet as containing non-PE material such as particulate fillers or
blends, alloys, etc.

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 6
Cell Level Designation

A < 10% Non-PE Material


B > 10% Non-PE Material

5.6 Cell V - Weather Resistant Nomenclature

5.6.1 This cell classified extruded PE sheet as being WEATHER RESISTANT OR


NON-WEATHER RESISTANT to provide guidance for proper application and use. This
makes no attempt to define degree of weatherability, but merely designates that some
additional effort has been made to improve weather resistance over normal PE
performance. The actual performance, requirements and suitability for any specific
application or product life time must be agreed upon between buyer and seller.

5.6.2 Cell Level Designation

A - Non-Weather Resistant
B - Weather Resistant

6. SAMPLING

6.1 Samples for test purposes shall be taken in accordance with the extruders' quality control
procedures unless otherwise agreed upon between the buyer and seller.

7. TEST METHODS

7.1 General - The tests given herein are intended primarily for use as production tests in
conjunction with manufacturing processes and inspection methods to conformity of sheet
with the requirements of this specification.

7.2 Production Inspection and Testing - During the process of manufacture, the extruder shall
make inspections and tests in accordance with methods described by this specification.
The extruder shall keep such essential records and other information to document his
claim that the requirements of this specification are met with a high degree of assurance.

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 7
7.3 Inspection - The samples of sheet shall be visually inspected to determine conformance of
the sheet with the requirements of 4.1.

7.4 Conditioning - Test specimens shall be prepared in accordance with D-1248 and shall be
tested under these conditions for referee tests or in the case of disputes.

7.5 Thickness - The thickness of PE sheet 0.010 inch and greater should be determined with a
ratchet micrometer using Method A of Test Methods D-374.

7.6 Length, Width and Squareness - Measurements shall be made with a calibrated steel tape
graduated at intervals of 1/16 inch, and measured to the nearest 1/16 inch.

7.7 Shrinkage (Hot Air Oven Test)

The average percent sheet shrinkage in the machine direction shall be determined by the
SPI/SPD procedure”Test Method for Orientation of Plastic Sheeting by Means of a Hot
Air Oven.”

Printed: August 16, 2001 Copyright © 1994/95 The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Page 8