High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic polymer produced from the monomer ethylene. It is popularly known for its massive strength-to-density ratio. Its molecular branch gives it strong tensile strength and intermolecular force. It is also harder, more opaque and can withstand extremely high temperatures. In addition, HDPE is a high molecular weight polymer, designed for an optimum balance of density, molecular weight, and molecular weight distribution.
Applications of HDPE:
Owing to these incredible properties HDPE is ideal for storm drain pipes, water pipes, and wastewater pipes. It is also used for cell liners in landfills where large sheets of HDPE plastic is wedge welded to form a chemical-resistant barrier. This helps tremendously in preventing soil and groundwater pollution. Since HDPE is more durable and safe, it is preferred by pyrotechnics trade for mortars over steel or PVC tubes. It is also great for blow-molding applications such as food and beverages containers. With its chemical resistant properties, HDPE is great for household cleaning products, motor oil, antifreeze and recycling bins.
Characteristics of HDPE:
1) Impact Strength
HDPE products can withstand extreme heat and temperatures below freezing point
2) Chemical Resistant
The high impact resistance and high molecular weight of HDPE make it resistant to chemicals like acids, farm chemicals, fertilizers, industrial compounds, and alkalis.
3) Tensile Strength
HDPE offers incredible tensile strength. without compromising the physical properties of a specific application.
4) UV Protection
HDPE offers UV protection which helps keep the plastic products resistant to the ray’s damaging and discoloring effects.
5) Abrasion Resistant
Due to the high molecular weight of HDPE resin, it offers enhanced abrasion resistance.
HDPE can be easily molded and designed into nearly any shape you can think of.
HDPE is Recyclable
One of the most commonly recycled plastics in the world, HDPE carries a universal sign for recycling. It has a “Number 2” inside the recycling triangle to indicate that it is recyclable. After it has been recycled, these polymers end up finding new life in plumbing pipes, children’s toys, plastic ropes, and plastic containers.
Due to the multiple benefits it offers, HDPE is replacing heavy materials and meeting the sustainability goals of our society and various industries. What’s more, due to its lightweight, strong and recyclable nature, it can help improve environmental-efficiency.