HDPE

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) has a continuous use temperature range of -50° F (-46° C) to 180° F (82° C). It is a standard material, and offers high impact strength, high chemical resistance, and very low water absorption. HDPE offers strength and rigidity for many applications requiring basic engineering plastic performance. In all its forms, HDPE is highly processable and can be worked by cutting, drilling and routing. Common brands include Proteus, Densetec, Prime and Polystone.

HDPE - Thermoplastic Material

Low Moisture Absorption, High Impact Resistance, High Tensile Strength, Chemical & Corrosion Resistant

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What is HDPE Plastic?

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Is HDPE Plastic Toxic?


Is HDPE Plastic Used for Food Containers that are BPA Free?

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Ea viderer partiendo vel, ei ullum euismod duo. No vim veri soluta accusamus. Id eos nisl movet qualisque. Vel cu liber commune deserunt, ancillae suscipit pri no. Qui ei minim tation nominavi, esse bonorum erroribus mea te.

  • Ea viderer partiendo vel, ei ullum euismod duo. No vim veri soluta accusamus.
  • Id eos nisl movet qualisque. Vel cu liber commune deserunt, ancillae suscipit pri no.
  • Qui ei minim tation nominavi, esse bonorum erroribus mea te. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, elit laudem invidunt vis at, eu eos odio adipiscing scripserit.
  • Ut vel ullum quodsi bonorum, tale dissentias et cum. Detracto vituperatoribus ea mel.
  • Vim stet dolor postulant no, soleat erroribus te pri. Sed cu omnis assentior, alia munere deleniti pro ut, alia persequeris et quo. Qui virtute iracundia ei.

Ea viderer partiendo vel, ei ullum euismod duo. No vim veri soluta accusamus. Id eos nisl movet qualisque. Vel cu liber commune deserunt, ancillae suscipit pri no. Qui ei minim tation nominavi, esse bonorum erroribus mea te.

What is HDPE Plastic Made From?

How Can You Tell If Plastic Is HDPE?

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HDPE Plastic Application

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Ea viderer partiendo vel, ei ullum euismod duo. No vim veri soluta accusamus. Id eos nisl movet qualisque. Vel cu liber commune deserunt, ancillae suscipit pri no. 


HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)

Part of the polyolefin family of materials, HDPE is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic material that is made from petroleum. This standard material offers a continuous temperature range of -50° F (-46° C) to 180° F (82° C) and high strength-to-density-ratio. When compared to other polyethylenes, HDPE offers considerably higher rigidity and tensile strength, especially at low temperatures. Impact strength is slightly lower, as is to be expected in a stiffer material. HDPE sheets are NSF listed and FDA approved making them perfectly safe for direct food applications (mainly for cutting boards) - the textured and matte surface holds food in place without slipping and the knives stay sharp much longer, leading to long term savings.

  • Chemical and Corrosion Resistant
  • Highly Impact Resistant
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Easy to process (fabricate, weld, machine)
  • Thermoformable
  • Low Water Absorption
  • Great Weather Resistance (UV-Stabilized)
  • Excellent long term durability
  • Good Flexibility
  • Cost-effective versus other marine solutions
  • FDA approved in certain grades

As the preferred choice for cut to size HDPE in the US, we have a wide range of different thicknesses that you can order online. Here are some available thicknesses:

  • 3/8“
  • 1/4"
  • 1/2“
  • 3/4"
  • 1”
  • 1.25”
  • 1.5

DID YOU KNOW? 


HDPE has a higher density than another grade of Polyethylene. This is particularly useful for applications that require effective bacterial and moisture resistance. Additionally, it offers great chemical and environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR). It’s often referred to as the “strongest everyday plastic” - as it's one of the most commonly used plastics in the United States.


HDPE Applications:

This multipurpose material is highly durable making it a great match for a variety of applications. For example, amongst businesses, schools, and other organizations, because it does not splinter, rot, or retain harmful bacteria. Borated HDPE offers radiation protection in nuclear facility applications. Being impact, moisture, and chemical resistant, they are ideal for machined part applications, cutting boards, tank linings, livestock containment, and more!

 

  • Cutting Boards - black commercial cutting boards are used more commonly in restaurant backroom prep areas, whereas white plastic cutting boards are used for customer-facing applications such as buffet lines. Most industrial cutting surfaces in the USA are fabricated using HDPE sheets.
  • Marine Use - most popularly used as boating seats and floors (when covered from UV lights), cabinetry, countertops, and walkways. This is because HDPE offers great resistance to chemicals, moisture, corrosion, and stains.
  • Storage Applications - as the consumer’s choice for strongest everyday plastic, HDPE is used in many applications including food storage containers, bottles, fuel tanks, chemical containment, laundry detergent bottles and geomembranes for hydraulic applications (such as canals and bank reinforcements).
  • Consumer - being tough, durable, and flexible, HDPE is used in making products such as swimming pool installations, backpacking frames, hard hats, plastic lumber, folding chairs and tables, arena boards (puck board). Additionally, since it's also moisture resistant, they are used as bodyboards for morgues.

If you are unsure if HDPE sheets are the right plastic for your application, please contact us. We are backed by the industry's most knowledgeable sales team, have extensive experience and can, with sufficient information, offer advice regarding your application needs.

HDPE vs LDPE

High Density Polyethylene has greater strength and stiffness than Low Density Polyethylene. This is because of plastic's natural properties. LDPE is naturally more flexible and has a lower melting point, whereas HDPE is stronger and can withstand more heat.

 

HDPE vs Polypropylene

Though both plastic sheets have many similarities, such as both being highly malleable, heat-tolerant, and low toxicity to humans, they have some key differences that are important to note prior to purchasing. HDPE has a higher density offering more rigidity, Polypropylene, meanwhile, can withstand higher temperatures, making it ideal for hotter environments. HDPE offers excellent chemical and UV resistance and durability in terms of long lifespan, whereas Polypropylene is known for being a relatively inexpensive material and low-melt viscosity. 

 

HDPE vs UHMW

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW) are both types of polyethylene plastic that can be used in a wide array of industrial applications. Because of its high-density makeup, HDPE doesn’t absorb much water or liquid, it's fairly versatile, affordable, and resistant to abrasion and chemicals. UHMW is particularly known for being extremely strong and abrasion-resistant. It’s especially well suited for holding up against wear from constant friction between moving parts. A key difference is that though UHMW can be fabricated and machined, it's not as well suited to forming specific shapes, whereas HDPE is easier to machine and weld. Another difference is that UHMW is better suited for industrial applications that need to withstand constant friction or wear.

 

There isn’t one choice that’s better suited to every application, but more about choosing which option is a better fit for your specific scenario.

HDPE Fabrication Methods

HDPE has a low coefficient of friction and can be easily cut, machined, welded, and thermoformed for easy fabrication. HDPE is highly processable and can be worked by cutting, deep drawing, riveting, milling, hot and cold forming, drilling, laser cutting, die-cutting, welding, and routing. It offers excellent smoothness and anti-adhesive properties. HDPE is not a good candidate for gluing. Mechanical fastening is an option, but it is preferable to join by hot air or nitrogen welding, or by ultrasonic, laser, and infrared welding. For the do-it-yourselfers, we recommended ordering a sample piece of HDPE plastic sheet prior to purchase so you can practice different machining styles.

For users who do not have the skill, experience, tools, or time to fabricate these sheets, ShapesPlastics offers cut-to-size ad hoc services. The ability to create cut-to-size products that deliver the best quality, precision in cutting, and tight tolerances, is what truly sets us apart. You can also benefit from additional savings in shipping as cutting the sheet down to your final size, might qualify it for free standard shipping.

Maintenance and Cleaning HDPE

Clean it regularly using nonabrasive soap/cleaner, then scrub using a soft bristle brush and rinse it off with warm clean water. While most HDPE sheet colors need to be cleaned only several times per year, certain colors such as natural white need to be cleaned more frequently to maintain their original appearance. 

As the most commonly strong plastic used in the United States, most recycling companies will accept HDPE material as it is one of the easiest plastic polymers to recycle. Please note, if there are other plastics in the batch, the recycled end-product may be ruined. 


WHERE CAN I GET HDPE SHEETS? 


ShapesPlastics can meet your HDPE needs. We offer a variety of HDPE sheets in different thicknesses, sizes, colors, and grades. We carry a large inventory of popular brands in a variety of thicknesses. The thickness you need for your application depends entirely on the application at hand. If you are unsure about which thickness is suitable for your project, please contact us. We are backed by the industry's most knowledgeable sales team, have extensive experience, and can, with sufficient information, make a good estimate of the thickness to be used. If you need a larger sheet, request a free quote via the contact page.


We offer cut-to-size and fabrication options so you can get exactly what you need without the hassle of having to cut it yourself. We also provide value-added precision fabrication services such as drilling holes, diamond and flame polishing, rounded edges, radius corners, and state-of-the-art CNC routing and cutting services for exceptionally smooth surface finish.


Not only can we cut what you need, but we can also ship it for free if it is a standard size piece. We offer competitive prices, an easy-to-use website, and have knowledgeable staff that is ready to help point you in the right direction. Thinking of purchasing HDPE sheets at Home Depot or HDPE at Lowes? They don't cut to your specification and frankly, here at ShapesPlastics, we are less expensive and offer an array of services so you get exactly what you want.


Cutting board grade HDPE meets FDA requirements for direct and indirect food contact. HDPE offers great characteristics such as moisture, bacteria, odor, stain, chemical resistance, which makes it ideal for plastic cutting boards.

As one of the most commonly used plastic in the United States, HDPE is not toxic at any stage of its life cycle. During production, it does not create harmful emissions, it does not leak any kind of toxic chemicals in the soil or water, it’s not toxic when used by consumers, and it's recyclable.

The safest food-grade containers made from HDPE have the #2 symbols stamped on them, this indicates that plastic is considered safe from any BPA leakage. This is in line with the molecular integrity of HDPE - they are more tightly packed and stable compared to other polyethylenes. However, it's’ the customer's responsibility to conduct their due diligence and research prior to purchase of any consumer product.

UV stabilized grade HDPE performs well in outdoor environments where extreme conditions like water and UV exposure are present. HDPE is commonly used for marine use such as boat floors and seats.

We offer a range of industry leading brand names for a competitive price. For HDPE, we mostly deal with Proteus® from Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials (MCAM).

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