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Polyethylene Outdoor Furniture Enhances Home Experiences

When the first wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic swept across the nation, homebound consumers flocked to home improvement stores to turn their backyards into a lockdown oasis. Unfortunately, this sudden spiked surprised raw material suppliers and molders as demand for outdoor living products skyrocketed.

With smart technology gaining popularity, homeowners also need solutions that can protect their electronics from the outdoor weather. This factor, in addition to a lumber shortage, eliminates porous materials like wood in favor of more solid materials like wood/polymer hybrid materials or other polymer-based solutions. With more homeowners staying in to protect themselves and at-risk loved ones from the pandemic, turning their four-walls and yards into an at-home oasis became a necessity. Polyethylene outdoor furniture plays a major role as the popularity of outdoor home experiences grows and the lumber shortages pivots construction plans and market demands.

Due to its weather-and-chemical resistance and sleek finish, polyethylene is already in outdoor home applications such as yard decor and outdoor furniture. It holds up well to prolonged sun exposure, creating a long-lasting product.1 As a result, the industry is primed for polyethylene, as the polymer’s strong points address many consumer concerns. Plastics converters will be challenged to help brand owners meet the needs of their customers by innovating the next generation of outdoor home furnishings.

Durable Polyethylene Products Withstand Weather Elements

The use of polyethylene for outdoor living applications extends beyond furniture. A lightweight material, polyethylene makes sporting goods equipment like kayaks easier to transport without forgoing durability. Rotational-molded polyethylene playgrounds are popular for similar reasons. Rotomolding is well suited for molding exciting geometric shapes to create intricate playground systems, including jungle gyms, slides, and more. It’s also a safer alternative for young children at play because it doesn’t splinter after long-term exposure to the elements.2 It can also be easily cleaned without compromising the structural integrity.

Outdoor Living Polyethylene Products

Patio furniture

HDPE is a moisture-resistant material that can withstand a wide range of temperatures and has a higher tensile strength. Furniture designed to be outside of a house, such as pool lounge chairs, side tables, and sectionals would benefit from the protection that HDPE provides. As a bonus for homeowners, HDPE outdoor furniture are virtually maintenance-free due to its durability.

Artificial turf

For homeowners looking to reduce lawn care by switching to artificial grass or turf, those blades can be made of HDPE. This is partially because of its ability to withstand high temperatures and people frequently walking on it.


Rotational-molded polyethylene kayaks are an exceptionally durable option for kayaking enthusiasts. One of the least expensive options on the market, a polyethylene kayak can withstand abuse from rooftop or trailer transport, flying cobblestones, and dragging across rough surfaces.

Playground components

With rotomolding capabilities, LLDPE can take on complex shapes to make imaginative playgrounds. Similar to garden materials, LLDPE remains safe even after constant exposure to heat. It’s also low maintenance, so it provides a stable structure that’s easy to upkeep. Because it’s resistant to chemicals, polyethylene playgrounds can be easily sanitized without corroding them. With LLDPE equipment, parents can have peace of mind that their kids won’t be exposed to splinters, rusty pieces of metal, or toxins.

Yard decorations

For outdoor decorations such as yard signs, plastic plant pots, and garden statues, HDPE is a moisture-resistant material, so any variation designed to be in yards or attached to the outside of a house would benefit from the protection polyethylene provides. It is also resistant to chemicals, so it’s easily cleaned in-between seasons without corroding delicate details.

High-Quality Pellets for Outdoor Living Applications

Confidence in the quality of your products and the resin used to make it is critical to success in the outdoor living market. That’s why Shell Polymers has taken extra measures to ensure our resin is on-spec for applications such as patio furniture made from a wood/polymer hybrid material, and sporting goods.

We will accomplish this through our state-of-the-art analytical lab, which our team of experienced polymer scientists will use to ensure lot-to-lot consistency in each batch of produced resin. Since it's being built from the ground up, our labs will be stocked with the latest testing equipment, so that we can conduct the highest level of quality control for our resin. Our technical service team can run resin qualification on our commercial-sized PE conversion equipment in the applications hall, further ensuring it will work on your plant's similar machines.

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Technical Expertise for Converting PE Into Outdoor Products

Adriana Velasquez

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Senior Technical Service Engineer, Rotational Molding

A member of the Shell Polymer team since 2018, Adriana has more than 15 years of experience helping customers innovate in pipe and rotomolding applications. An acknowledged leader in her industry, she is Shell’s representative in external standards, certification, and public safety organizations, including ASTM, CSA, NSF, and the Transportation Research Board. Adriana also represents Shell in industry organizations such as the Plastic Pipe Institute, Association of Rotational Molders, and Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association.

Elliot Carnavale

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Technical Service Engineer, Injection Molding

A member of the Shell Polymer team since 2018, Elliot has nearly ten years of experience helping customers innovate in the injection molding, extrusion, and thermoforming industries. During this time, he focused much of his effort on customer-centric development programs, for which he was recently granted his second patent for a novel polyolefin composition. In addition to his role in supporting customers, Elliot represents Shell Polymers and supports the plastics industry through board positions with the American Injection Molding Institute, Penn State Behrend, and the Society for Plastics Engineers.

Meet Elliot