The Different Uses of HDPE

HDPE or high-density polyethylene is widely used petroleum thermoplastic. It is also one of the most popular materials among the three polyethylenes. The reason behind this is the fact that it can be used for a diverse range of applications. If one looks at HDPE underneath a microscope, they would notice a linear structure that has some branches which provide it with its density ratio or optimal strength. Companies like microvision lab can also launch tests to check the material quality. Due to its unique molecular makeup, high-density polyethylene is best used where there is a need for cost-effectiveness and moisture resistance. It was only in the 1930s that HDPE was developed in the United Kingdom. Its main purpose was radar cables of high-frequency usage during the Second World War. HDPE was only introduced commercially in the market after World War II in the United States during the 1950s. However ever since its introduction to the commercial market, the demand for high-density polyethylene has skyrocketed and made it the most used type of plastic. HDPE Marine Board offers the best high-density polyethylene for just about every type of purpose.

High-density polyethylene does offer flexibility despites its higher version of density yield. On the other hand, thermoplastic of lower density grades tend to be less rigid as compared to higher density grade which also have a high crystallite. HDPE is made by have ethylene molecules stringed together which are most derived from natural gas reserves. It is dubbed as the Meryl Streep of all plastics as it can be used for various applications as mentioned below.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic is a type of resin which is used multiple times and is a cheap durable packaging material. Just about everyone has used water bottles which are made of durable plastic. One might have wondered what type of plastic is used for water bottles but might not know the answer. However, the truth is that HDPE is perfect for blow-molding applications such as beverage and food containers. The reason why it is used in containers that hold beverages and food is that high-density polyethylene does not leach into the contents of the bottle. The Canadian Department for Agriculture, the US National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture and the FDA accept HDPE for food contact applications. Moreover, HDPE can be easily recycled and is great for disposable items.

Although there are six main types of plastics that are commonly used, HDPE is the most widely used. It is strong and can be used for making not just bottles but also jugs for short-term use and storage. A plastic container that has a number 2 inside of the recycle symbol which consists of three arrows indicates HDPE use. Most bleach, laundry and even milk bottles use HDPE. Due to its toughness, HDPE bottles are hard to break and do not burst. Furthermore, HDPE bottles can be made wither opaque or translucent. Normally, HDPE containers that are colored have greater strength as compared to bottles that are translucent. Opaque and colored HDPE containers resist corrosion and cracking. It is important to keep in mind that HDPE is a food-grade plastic. This means that it is safe for perishable goods like milk. It should not be used for longer term usage as it is difficult for residues and odors to be removed from HDPE. Recycled high-density polyethylene is used for making different types of items.


HDPE is widely used for making toys. It is UV resistant and that helps ensure that the toys are resistant to the discoloring and damaging effects of the sun. Besides, kids should be able to play with their toys outside in the sun and not having to sit inside the house with the curtains blocking natural sunlight.

Chances are that the toys used by you during your childhood were made of HDPE. Despite all of your efforts to break the toy, it remained in great condition. This is because high-density polyethylene is one of the sturdiest plastic out there. Toys require studier and thicker high-density which is why HDPE is the best choice for toys manufacturers. On the other hand, low-density polyethylene is normally used for items such as trash bags. Generally, HDPE does not get used inside of the toy but for the plastic packaging. Even though there are other types of materials that can be used for making toys, high-density polyethylene remains to be the most popular choice. Higher durability is guaranteed with HDPE. This means that kids get to use their toys for much longer without their parents having to hit bank each time the toy breaks.

Chemical Containers

High-density polyethylene is a low-cost material that is ideal for making chemical containers. It is chemical resistant and offers the perfect balance between toughness and stiffness for a wide range of temperatures. HDPE is used for making recycling bins, antifreeze, motor oil, household cleaning products, conditioners, shampoo, laundry, and etc. Moreover, the strength of bottles can also be increased through pigmentation and coloring.

HDPE is translucent in its natural state which is similar to a milky white color. A great thing about HDPE chemical containers is that they are lighter-weight as compared to other options. The containers can be recycled easily, require fewer additives, and are chlorine-free. Huge drums of industrial chemicals and automotive products use HDPE. Its chemical resistant and higher abrasion properties allow HDPE to resist strong alkalis and acids. Furthermore, due to its flexibility, it is also less susceptible to a surge in shocks. Where there is a need for resistance to chemical, HDPE is the best choice. It is widely used for chemical storage tanks. As there are fewer than 200 carbon atoms for each branch in the backbone and the molecules are linear, HDPE can be used for just about anything. Translucence is developed because of the linearity. Thus, HDPE has the lowest permeability and highest modulus in all of the classes of polyethylene. Industrial items can be easily stored in HDPE containers or bottles.

Household Cleaners

Household cleaners use HDPE because it offers the best moisture barrier. Stiffness and rigidity allows HDPE bottles to be the preferred choice for household cleaners. Stain repellents, metal polishes, polishes, oven cleaners, fabric cleaners, drain cleaners, disinfectants, dish-washing liquids, detergents, scouring powders, and ammonia bleach are just a few of the household cleaners that use high-density polyethylene. Delivery of the house cleaner is guaranteed with HDPE. It also increases the safety and convenience to the application.

Furthermore, HDPE bottles tend to have a memory in a solid and cooled state. This means that even if the HDPE bottles are twisted or squeezed, they would return to the original state or shape that they were previously in. Thus, HDPE bottles are perfect for squeeze bottles in different configurations. They can even be used as a spray container. Versatility is something that HDPE is famous for.

Pipe Systems

Unlike the standard HDPE used for other purposes, HDPE pipe systems require higher molecular weight. HDPE offers higher molecular weight and UV-resistance which makes it strong enough to suit outdoor and piping applications.

HDPE pipe systems have the ability to withstand 180 and even -220 degrees Fahrenheit. As HDPE is durable for a wide range of chemical interactions, it can also be used for various industrial applications. Industrial and municipal water applications have been using high-density polyethylene for more than 50 years. When it comes to ground-source geothermal applications, HDPE pipes are the perfect candidate.  PE 4710 and PE 3608 are the pipe material designation codes that are most commonly followed. HDPE is available for copper tube sizes and iron pipe sizes. HDPE pipe and tubing is done in straight lengths and coils. Keep in mind that the most important factor influencing the success of ground-sourced geothermal systems is the piping material itself. Temperature resistance, impact resistance, flexibility, chemical resistance, and corrosion resistance are provided by HDPE pipes.

Due to HDPE being durable and tough, it is the most commonly used piping material. It utilizes different construction methods. Besides, it is also one of the first piping materials to be utilized. HDPE pipes are used throughout the world. HDPE fittings and pipes are used for pipe sewage manholes, inspection chambers, pipe coating, cable protection, sea outfalls, and much more. HDPE is resistant to hydrolysis which makes it the ideal choice for sewerage, telecommunication cables, wiring, fuel tanks, automobiles, and the like.

Textiles and Fibers

Owing to its high tensile strength, high-density polyethylene is also used in sports and fishing nets, ropes, decorative fabrics, industrial fabrics, and nets used for agricultural purposes. HDPE nets are extremely popular due to their flexibility and strength. Most fishers around the world use HDPE nets for catching fishes. There are many companies that are also using high-density polyethylene for making the fabric of the future. The textile industry is taking advantage of the properties of HDPE to create innovative textiles.

Moreover, as the textile industry switches to eco-friendly material, HDPE has become the most popular choice. Besides, it can be recycled to make new textiles and objects. Underwater clothing requires HDPE to ensure durability underwater. Coloring can be done to HDPE to construct new fibers which will revolutionize the textile industry. Working opportunities with HDPE are endless. The material can be transformed into different shapes and sizes. It is also cheap which makes it a great candidate for cheaper and alternative clothing.

Advantages of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

HDPE has many advantages. It offers great flexibility and lightness even in high and low temperatures. High-density polyethylene also provides higher resistance to impacts as compared to other materials. If the temperature of water is more than 100 degrees Celsius, HDPE can still be used. No harmful substance is produced by HDPE. At 50 degrees Celsius, HDPE suffers from oxidation which causes degradation of polymer molecules. Degradation is experienced in light at ordinary temperatures. Antioxidants can be included to reduce it. Electrical conductivity is also low. When it comes to the environment, HDPE is also recyclable making it a great choice for companies that are concerned about the environment.

HDPE has a higher molecular weight as compared to conventional polyethylene density. Three methods are used for HDPE fabrication which includes the gas phase, Phillips method, and the Ziegler. HDPE is the most popular polyethylene in the family and it coexists with ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) which is normally used for manufacturing extremely resistant fiber such as the one as for bulletproof jackets manufacturing. When compared to carbon steel, UHMWPE is 15 times as resistant. There are many advantages of HDPE as mentioned below.

  • Lower chances of jobsite theft due to low scrap value of HDPE.
  • Offers flexibility when it comes to speed installations.
  • Resistant to deposits, tuberculation, and corrosion.
  • Ensures long-term reliability and safety of potable water.
  • Leak-free performance is provided due to heat fusibility.
  • Eco-friendly and recyclable material.
  • There is no need to use fame for joining or fitting with other options.
  • Toughness and durability to ensure jobsite installation.
  • Easy to transport as it is lightweight.
  • Provides resistance to free-breaks.

Quick Installation

HDPE is used as a main component because it can be installed rather quickly. Moreover, the installation process is significantly shortened as HDPE is easy to transport, handle, and is light. There is also no need to use heavy machine for transporting it.


High-density polyethylene is more flexible and can easily adapt to changes of bends and direction. There is no need for using additional tools or fittings.

Incredible Resistance

Resistance to different materials, temperatures, and usage makes HDPE the most popular material out there.

Useful Life

As HDPE is resistant to abrasive liquids and its effects, HDPE has a useful life of about 50 years which makes it the perfect choice. It is extremely durable.


HDPE is very efficient. Liquids can easily flow inside HDPE as it is flat inside. HDPE also works well with other materials. A great thing about HDPE is that incrustations and sediments cannot get accumulated inside.