Department of Materials


Disentangled Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene

Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, having molar mass greater than a million g/mol is an engineering polymer that is used for demanding applications ranging from body armour to the replacement of hip- and knee-joints. The chain-of-knowledge approach of our research, that combines chemistry with physics, rheology and processing, has allowed to develop a unique polymer that could be processed, solvent-free, to make tapes and films of unprecedented tensile modulus and strength. The process is commercially and environmentally attractive and has been developed further by the company Teijin Aramid, NL.

The product launched under the brand name Endumax® is produced in Emmen, NL that employs more than 80 people today.
On the fundamental side, the polymer provides a unique thermodynamically metastable melt state where the existing rheological theories cannot be applied, thus opening new questions in polymer physics.

New product and industrial production

The technological process is under commercialisation by the research sponsor Teijin Aramid B.V. located at Arnhem, Netherlands. The product has been launched in Oct 2011 under the commercial name Endumax®.

Endumax® is currently commercialised in the form of tapes, that have high strength (11 times stronger than steel) and stiffness. The two main applications listed in the dedicated internet site from the producer ( are for ballistic and robotics/force transmission.

For production of ballistic articles, the tapes offer a significant advantage over yarns in term of weight and amount of chemicals needed. Moreover, plates made from Endumax® retain the original form and performance levels even when exposed to high temperatures and moisture

For robotics, the Endumax® tape proved to be ideal for use in the Darwing®, a dynamic arm support for people with severely limited arm function. The Darwing was developed by Focal Meditech, in close cooperation with the Teijin Endumax® team, and presented at RehaCare International 2011.

Read more in our Working with Industry case study »