Marlex

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Marlex is a trademarked name for crystalline polypropylene and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These plastics were invented by J. Paul Hogan and Robert Banks, two research chemists at the Phillips Petroleum company.

The material was originally interesting in the 1950s because its high melting point and tensile strength were more desirable than that of the more common form of polyethylene. For example, the medical community was eager to make use of its high melting point; objects made of Marlex could be cleaned in high temperature autoclaves without affecting their form.[1]

Marlex was used by Wham-O for their Hula Hoops in the 1950s, which helped create a market for this plastic. It is now used surgically as a reinforcing mesh in inguinal hernia repair.

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  1. ^ USHER, FRANCIS C. (1 June 1958). "Tissue Reaction to Plastics". A.M.A. Archives of Surgery. 76 (6). doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280240155026. ISSN 0096-6908.