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Common Uses of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

Common Uses of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene is part of a widely-used family of thermoplastics, HDPE ‘Polyolefin’, which is produced through polymerizing ethylene and propylene for properties that are excellent in applications such as food handling, food preparation equipment, wear resistance, consumer goods, and much more.

Why this thermoplastic is so popularGlass bottles weigh 16 times more than plastic bottles

HDPE is known for its excellent strength-to-density ratio, as well as its strong intermolecular forces, high impact and tensile strength. These properties combine for a hard, durable plastic that is excellent for many applications from containers for consumer goods to chemical and structural tanks components. At the same time, HDPE is lightweight and highly resistant to stains, odor, moisture, chemicals, and abrasion. Most importantly, HDPE doesn’t contain harsh or toxic chemicals that could be harmful to users, making it excellent for a wide variety of consumer and commercial products. Specifically, HDPE does not contain: BPA, Phthalates, Allergens, Heavy Metals or Harmful fumes.

HDPE has excellent wear and chemical resistance. HDPE is a commonly used material for rub strips, chute liners and bottling plant components. An example of wear resistance is the yellow plastic playground slides which are made of HDPE. This versatile plastic material is often the choice for use for chemical and toxic containers and bottles.

The HDPE material is the common material used to make the one gallon milk jugs. These are easily recycled, and 8 – 10 milk jugs is equal to about one pound of recycled HDPE material. On average, over 115 million milk jugs are recycled each year.

Some common uses of HDPE

HDPE is FDA, USDA, and NSF compliant, making it especially popular for making components such as cutting boards, food preparation surfaces and equipment components. HDPE is often used in a wide range of food processing equipment, food containers and bottles, as well as valve and pump components. However, the Food processing industry isn’t the only industry relying on HDPE. Its excellent impact strength makes this plastic popular for everything from impact parts to dasher boards in ice rinks, to personal protection gear.

In addition, HDPE has excellent properties that make it perfect for heat-formed or vacuum-formed parts, producing food trays and containers and much HDPE can be recycled and made into usable plastic lumbermore. The plastic’s durability and impact resistance makes it an excellent choice for the linings of conventional freezers, bed liners for heavy trucks, and liners in silos. The marine industry is an active user of HDPE due to its toughness and very lightweight to size ratio.

As one of the most used plastics, HDPE has a density of just .941 – .965 per ASTM D792. While many think of Aluminum as a lightweight material, it actually is 2.8 times the weight of  HDPE plastic material.

HDPE also has been successfully used in a variety of cement molds and various types of transfer and storage boards. This plastic can be found in crates and bottles for holding not just food products, but also detergents and cosmetics. Industrial pallet wrapping benefits from HDPE film durability, while petrol tanks benefit from this plastic’s inherent chemical resistance.

Looking for a supplier of polyethylene thermoplastics?

Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. is an expert in performance plastics, and has one of the largest material inventories in the World. To learn more, check out full line Performance Plastic materials on our website.

Polyproplylene (Polypro)

thick-white-plastic-sheet

Polypro – Polypropylene

PolyPropylene or PolyPro is extremely chemical resistant and light weight


Polypropylene combines high corrosion resistance, high-temperature resistance (Melting point is 320°F), and great tensile strength.

It maintains its stiffness at elevated temperatures and displays incredible resistance to organic solvents, degreasing agents, and electrolytic attack. In addition, the material is lightweight, and stain and moisture resistant.

Because of the incredible chemical resistance, Polypropylene can not be bonded or glued together. Polypropylene must be hot welded or the use of sonic welding to attach pieces together. This process, while outside of the norm, is quite common for the polyolefin family of plastics. Polypropylene is a durable industrial building material, and is made by some of the biggest names in Plastics, including Simona America, Rochling Plastics, Vycom Plastics, and Polymer Industries. These large manufacturers all run materials here in the USA and have some of the highest standards for production.

The other polyolefin material with the same welding requirements is Polyethylene.

Polypropylene is a High Tech Performance Plastic.

FRP-3 is a specialty type of fire resistant polypropylene.

White polypropylene sheet welded wet bench

Why you should use Polypropylene:

  • Self lubricating and low co-efficient of friction
  • High chemical resistance
  • Abrasion, Moisture, and Electrical Resistance
  • Stiffness, Rigidity, or cut resistance
  • Low specific gravity (floats in water)
  • Resistance to 180 degrees F and handles acids, alkalines and solvents extremely well
  • USDA and FDA approved for use in food processing applications
  • Excellent stiffness and rigidity
  • Very good dielectric properties
  • Impact and stress crack resistant
  • FDA and NSF compliant
  • Polypro is ITAR compliant, and Polypro is RoHS compliant
Applications:

Polypropylene sheet is used in a broad variety of applications, but is particularly suited to the manufacture of chemical tanks for the following reasons:
  • Can be formed into almost any shape
  • Unsurpassed chemical resistance
  • Reliably handles all acids, alkalines and solver up to 180 degrees F
  • Resistant to abrasion, cuts and moisture
  • High tensile and compressive strength
  • Dependably maintains rigidity in all weather conditions
  • Superb dielectric properties
  • Wide variety of formulations including conductive, glass filled and static dissipative
  • approved by the USDA and FDA for use of food processing applications

Polypropylene Applications include:

Tanks, Scrubbers, Irrigation, Acid Waste Piping Systems, Battery Cases, Machine Cases, Etching equipment, Semi-conductor trays, Insulation components, Plating tanks, Living hinges, etc…

Materials Available As:

Extruded Sheet:
.030″ – 3″ in 48″ x 96″ Smooth surfaces natural sheet
Black available in many thicknesses

Film:
022″ – .060″ in 48″ wide Natural only as standard
Rod:
.250 – 10″ diameter in Natural- 96″ lengths
Special Formulations:
Conductive, Glass Filled Static dissipation, custom sizes, formulations, profiles or colors

Typical Resin Properties for Polypropylene sheet and rod

These properties are for evaluation purposes only. This information is not to be construed as a warranty, guarantee or assurance that you may achieve the same results. Materials made from different resin types, manufacturing techniques and manufacturers will react differently. The information should be used to compare against other materials only, and each user should make his own tests to determine suitability. No warranty as to this materials suitability are either expressed nor implied.