The Power of UHMWPE

UHMWPE Adventure Andy Unbreakable Bootlaces
From the desk of Andrew Wildman,
Adventurer, gear tester, athlete, son, brother.
In Vancouver BC June 2023

Dear Reader,

In my experience, strong comes with a catch: 

  • Strong but heavy like steel
  • Strong but stiff like wood, carbon fiber, plastics
  • Strong but stretchy like rubbers

Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) has no catch.

It’s stronger than steel, and stronger than Kevlar.

It can be put away soaking wet for months and it won’t rot.

It won’t absorb water so it doesn't get heavy when it's wet, and it’ll never freeze.

It resists things in the environment like acids, alkalis, oils, solvents, better than any other flexible material out there.

It’s lighter than cotton, polyester, nylon, and it’s about half the weight of Kevlar.

UHMWPE is the state of the art and it’s changing industries all around us where the gear just can’t fail.

  • The U.S. army, for instance, has just replaced Kevlar with UHMWPE in their latest combat helmets.
  • It’s used by skydivers and paragliders to suspend from their parachutes.
  • It’s used in automotive winches because it’s safer and stronger than steel wire.
  • It’s used in marine applications for high-performance lines (like backstays - the ropes on your sail boat that you REALLY don’t want to break).
  • It’s even used used in outer space, for the 30-kilometre long, 0.6–mm thick space tether in the ESA/Russian Young Engineers' Satellite 2

I could go on…

UHMWPE in your shoelaces helps you count on your ,footwear which helps you count on your footing.

I like that peace of mind.