A comprehensive investigation of the die drawing technology of a high molecular weight polythylene (HMWPE) rod has been carried out. The effect of draw temperature, draw speed, nominal draw ratio, and exit diameter of the dies has been studied. The oriented HMWPE products were characterized mainly by the determination of the three-point bend modulus and the tensile strength. The tensile strength and the modulus of the drawn HMWPE rod could reach 700 MPa and 18 GPa, respectively. In addition, it was found that forced cooling at the die exit was essential when drawing billets with large section areas. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.