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Using Polythene Film as a Component

Polythene film is an incredibly versatile material. And it’s not just used as packaging (although that is its main use around the world). From electrical insulation to medical devices, and vapour barriers to aerospace material, polythene film is a crucial component in the manufacturing processes of mission-critical hardware.

Want to know more? Read this next: What is Polythene Used For?

In this post, we’ll explore the practical applications of polythene film as a component, building on insights we’ve gained over the years.


A woman looking inside a computer or server. She is in focus, the components are blurred.


Polythene film for electrical insulation

Polythene film is used as a way of preventing short circuits in electrical and electronic devices, due to its excellent insulating properties. It acts as a barrier against electrical currents, making it ideal for use in cable wrapping and component shielding. As a film, sections of polythene can be used to shield circuit boards in densely-packed housings, or as a membrane between two conductive surfaces that need to be kept apart.

Antistatic polythene for electronics can also be used to prevent static charges building up on sensitive components.

Polythene vapour barriers

We’ve covered using polythene film in construction before, as it’s such a key component in the industry. One such use is polythene vapour barriers, which are essential for preventing moisture damage.

Used in walls, floors and ceilings, polythene vapour barriers help control moisture levels – reducing the risk of mould and structural damage. When combined with insulation materials, polythene films enhance thermal performance, too. We’ve done a deep dive into vapour barriers, which you can read here:

Using Polythene Sheet In Construction: Understanding Vapour Barriers

Polythene medical devices

The medical industry relies on polythene film for its non-reactive and sterile properties, as well as its efficacy as PPE. Polythene film is used to package medical supplies, ensuring they remain sterile until use – and it’s also used for colour-coded hazardous waste bags.

But certain medical devices are either made from or incorporate polythene film as a component, due to its flexibility and biocompatibility. Polythene can be used as a surgical implant surface, and has been extensively used to create porous, high-density implants for facial and cranial reconstructive surgery.

Hoses and tubing

Polythene film products – including bags, sheets and sleeves – all start life as layflat tubing. And as the name suggests, layflat tubing can be used as a conduit for liquids and gases in highly specialised applications.

For example, in manufacturing industries requiring chemical resistance and durability, polythene layflat tubing is used to create hoses that can handle a variety of substances without degrading. This is because polythene is largely inert, and doesn’t react with many chemicals the way other materials do.

Polythene layflat tubing is also used as a component in irrigation systems due to its flexibility, low cost and resistance to environmental factors. Long runs of tubing can be created over vast distances at a fraction of the cost of other materials. It’s extremely easy to work, and allows for precise control and delivery of water.

Being a thin film, there are limits to the pressures it can take – but polythene is remarkably strong, especially under tension, which does extend its application somewhat.


On the subject of agriculture, we couldn’t leave out polythene film for polytunnels – it’s the main ingredient after all! A polytunnel is basically a greenhouse, except that instead of being made of glass, it’s made of a frame covered with transparent polythene film.

Polytunnels can be absolutely enormous, covering entire stretches of farmland, and that’s largely down to the low cost, low weight and easy workability of polythene film. Polytunnels extend growing seasons and allow non-native plants to grow in cooler climates – but they can also be used as animal shelters on farms and smallholdings, or as storage shelters.

Polythene film – for manufacturing and trades

Looking for custom-made polythene film to use as a component in your manufacturing process? Our polythene experts can help you design the exact spec of film you need, before creating it from scratch, on-site in the UK.

Get a quote now, or call us on 01773 820415 to start your order.