High Density Polyethylene, (HDPE) is used in a wide range of harsh, heavy-duty applications and is one of the most widely used resins in the world today. It has minimal branching of its polymer chains, and is more dense, more rigid and less permeable than Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). At the same time, it is less dense, less rigid and more permeable than Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE), with a density range of 0.926 - 0.940 g/cm3 compared to UHMW-PE’s density of 0.928-0.941 g/cm3. Much less expensive than PTFE, it can offer significant savings in a number of common applications.
+ Key Strengths:
HDPE is typically less expensive than PTFE or UHMW-PE. It has fairly good wear and impact resistance, is quite durable, and suitable for food contact. It can exhibit higher temperature capabilities than UHMW-PE. The material is very tough and has the highest impact strength of the polyethylenes.
- Key Drawbacks:
HDPE tends to have lower mechanical and thermal properties than other polymers, lower strength, stiffness and weather resistance. It exhibits high thermal expansion, and is somewhat susceptible to stress cracking. It is difficult to bond, flammable, and shows much lower temperature capabilities than PTFE.