Tough, Yet Thin

The strengths of Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) make it ideal for use in a variety of packaging applications. LLDPE’s toughness means it can be used in thinner films while retaining material strength, especially compared to its similarly named polyethylene sibling, Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE). Thinner films can mean less raw material used, and that can mean lower LLDPE plastic prices compared to other variations.

When comparing LLDPE vs. LDPE, LLDPE offers higher tensile strength and higher impact and puncture resistance than LDPE, thanks to the former’s significant number of short, uniform branches (compared to LDPE’s longer branches) that prevent the polymer chains from packing closely together. Its polymerization conditions are also less energy-intensive than LDPE, and LLDPE properties can be altered with varying types and amounts of chemical ingredients.1

Among the polyethylenes -- including LDPE and HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) -- LLDPE is often used in rotomolding because it is durable yet forgiving.2 Polyethylenes like LLDPE have characteristics that have made them the most widely used resin powders for rotational molding after being pulverized.

What Is LLDPE Plastic Used For?

Around the world, LLDPE is the most-used material for film applications like food and non-food packaging, shrink and stretch film, and other such uses.3 LLDPE can be found in many households and around virtually every neighborhood in an assortment of everyday uses with practical applications involving food storage and preparation, child’s play, and electronics, among other uses.

Food & Beverage

Food & Beverage

LLDPE can be found in everything from grocery bags, trash bags, and shrink wrap to drink and dairy cartons, protective film around meat and bread, and kitchen utensils.

Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living

Polymers are a staple of plastic gardening tools and planters, jungle gyms, playground slides, tube tunnels, ladders, and other recreational products.

Utilities

Utilities

This plastic’s insularity makes it ideal for power and telecommunication cable insulation, and its durable flexibility makes it well-suited for pipes and tubing.

Versatile, Flexible & Compatible

Driving the cross-product popularity of LLDPE are the qualities that make it multidimensional and reliable in an endless array of scenarios. It's easy to shape, secure, and sanitize. Among the many attributes of LLDPE, it is:

  • Flexible, transparent, and resistant to environmental stress cracking
  • Easy to maintain, with resistance to breaking or staining
  • Resistant to transmitting chemicals into soil or food
  • Safe to handle after constant exposure to heat, unlike some other plastics
  • Resistant to chemicals, acids, and oils, and easy to sanitize without corrosion
  • A high-performance film structure that’s less permeable, increasing shelf life and enhancing flavors of foods

Stay Ahead of Industry Changes With Our Polymer Trends Report

The coronavirus pandemic magnified changes already underway in industry and society, creating both barriers and benefits for plastics converters. Get a better sense of the trends and topics of 2021 and beyond with our Polymer Trends report.

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Growing Demand = Growing Opportunity

Converters can reasonably expect a robust market for their services. Global demand for LLDPE is expected to grow at approximately 4.8% annually through 2028, with market value growing to almost $85 billion by that year, up from around $53 billion in 2018, according to Research and Markets, a data provider.4 While most LLDPE produced today is used in packaging, the need for LLDPE is growing well beyond that traditional use.

The need for LLDPE in vehicles, toys, electronic and electrical devices, household appliances, medical technology, and mechanical and plant engineering is expected to grow at 3% per year, predicts chemeurope.com, an industry information website. The global demand for pipes, profiles, and cables is expected to grow by 3.1% annually in that time as well. About half of the total global demand for LLDPE is in the Asia-Pacific region,5 amid rising exports from the US.

1 https://www.britannica.com/science/polyethylene
2 http://gregstrom.com/rotational-molding-materials-lldpe-vs-hdpe/ 
3 https://www.plasticsinsight.com/resin-intelligence/resin-prices/lldpe/ 
4 https://www.yahoo.com/now/worldwide-linear-low-density-polyethylene-190000423.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAE-CH4bAuQaO0fFGobGiLiDLWlswt9HRE84TAU7k8e-UxymYifQhGpDPYdLOfDpCzAhEZ3aV6hC_D0ynjHAb-_U66gMPf2juuEAiqi7TuT6AZ2xLJL-sBN60khIwMdAlG1WvHjNIglqrMqrI6ZoNkYl_fFsh0CkMkcgInp5KirRy
5 ​​https://www.chemeurope.com/en/news/1165287/new-study-about-the-global-market-for-polyethylene-lldpe.html

Meet An LLDPE Expert

Carl Baker

Professional headshot of Senior Technical Service Engineer, Carl Baker

Senior Technical Service Engineer

Carl is a polymers visionary and industry veteran who has spent more than 30 years in the field, In roles throughout his career his responsibilities have included working with HDPE, MDPE, and LLDPE in pipe applications and the development of PE-RT technology for the North American Market.

Meet Carl

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