Benefits of HDPE Plastic

From food storage to piping systems, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a versatile and popular polymer. Using HDPE in applications ensures a durable final product that is also abrasion- and chemical-resistant. So, when jobs call for complex parts that need to be strong, flexible, and produced quickly, HDPE should be considered

HDPE’s high impact resistance and ductility are notable qualities for the resin. It’s why HDPE is often used in demanding applications like pipe protection for oil and gas transportation or automotive fuel tanks. Plus, HDPE’s high drop impact resistance means the part won’t break if dropped during use.

The high resistance level of HDPE also gives converters a measure of reassurance. HDPE can withstand high-and low-temperature treatment, so it won’t melt, corrode, or freeze. This provides converters with a plastic that can withstand the high temperatures of PE converting processes like injection molding.

One of HDPE’s most lauded features is its resistance to outside chemicals and solvents. This is because HDPE is semi-crystalline, which means it naturally has higher chemical resistance.

HDPE is also resistant to corrosion, rust, and many chemicals. Polyethylene is often used to mold complex and durable components that can’t degrade due to chemical issues. End products like roll-out carts, pails, and bins must be made to withstand moisture, mold, mildew, rust, and odors, lasting for years due to HDPE’s chemical resistance.

Because of key traits such as its toughness, versatility, and chemical resistance, HDPE may be ideal to use in many applications across industries.

End Uses for HDPE Across Industries

From food packaging that extends the shelf life of produce to pressure pipes that build the foundation of your local restaurant, HDPE is used in a variety of industries as a durable, cost-effective option. These can include end uses such as:

  • Blow-molded jugs for milk
  • Blow-molded bottles for household chemicals
  • Blow-and-injection molded containers for cosmetic products
  • Injection-molded bottle caps and closures
  • Film for flexible food packaging, trash bags, and grocery bags

HDPE is a versatile polymer that can accommodate complex container designs while still maintaining its structural integrity throughout the distribution process.

HDPE Protects Consumer Products

Polyethylene has several properties that can set it apart, including density and molecular weight. For example, HDPE can be purchased in a variety of melt indexes and densities. This allows converters to leverage different grades of PE in the many types of end-uses they produce.

In addition to rigid, molded applications like bottles and buckets, HDPE also makes a durable film that can be used to make flexible plastic packaging for consumer products such as produce and dry goods. It’s moisture, chemical, and abrasion-resistant, which makes it ideal for packaging for delicate products such as electronics, where exposure to outside contaminants could damage the product’s functionality.

Photo of Elliot Carnevale, Technical Service Engineer - Injection Molding

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Meet An HDPE Expert

Elliot Carnavale has spent the entirety of his 10-year career working in polyolefins. Since joining Shell Polymers as a Technical Service Engineer, Elliot has been invited to sit on the advisory boards for the Polymers Technology and Engineering program at the American Injection Molding Institute, the Plastics Engineering program at Penn State Behrend, and the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers.

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