Material Focus: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Chances are that you come in contact with High Density Polyethylene on a daily basis. It is used in many common consumer products including plastic bottles, food containers, plastic lumber, and much more.

What is HDPE?

High density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum.

In 2007, the global HDPE market reached a volume of more than 30 million tons.

Examples of HDPE Products

  • Fluid Holding Tanks
  • Cutting Boards
  • Playground Features
  • Marine Parts
  • Bottle Caps
  • Plastic Lumber
  • Plastic Bags
  • Food Storage Containers
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Cable Insulation
  • 3D Printer Filament
  • Hard Hats
  • Proofing Trays
  • Machined Parts
  • Fluid Handling Systems

Is HDPE FDA approved? 

Yes, in general HDPE is FDA Approved. As with all materials, you should ask your plastics distributor to verify this information as there are many manufactures of HDPE.

Is HDPE weldable?

Yes! HDPE is a highly weldable product, and is actually one of the "easier" materials to hot-air weld.

What colors is HDPE available in? 

HDPE is available in nearly any color!

Is HDPE chemically resistant?

In short, yes. HDPE is commonly used in applications where chemical resistance is a necessity. It's important to note, though,  that HDPE is not a one-size-fits-all for chemical resistance. To find out if HDPE fits your application, you can download a chemical resistance chart by clicking here.

Typical Properties

You can view UL's list of HDPE's typical mechanical properties by clicking here.