HDPE is one of the most popular materials used in manufacturing today. It is used to make many different types of products in its pure form, and is often recycled to make a composite material for manufacturing as well. So what is HDPE and why is it so advantageous to our future?
*HDPE is an acronym for High Density Polyethylene.
*High Density Polyethylene is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. HDPE is commonly recycled and made into composite wood or plastic lumber.
*HDPE is a Type 2 plastic commonly used in making containers for milk, motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, and bleaches. type 2 plastics.
*HDPE is known for its large strength-to-density (maximum stress a material can withstand)
*Products made from Type 2 HDPE recycled plastic are considered Eco-friendly because they are made mainly from post-consumer products and are recyclable at the end of their useful life.
*Generally post-consumer products used in making HDPE include bottles such as milk and detergent bottles. Approximately 8-10 recycled milk jugs make up a pound of HDPE material.
*Over 115 million milk jugs are recycled each year in the making of HDPE recycled plastic.
*HDPE Does not contain BPA, phthalates, heavy metals or allergens.
*HDPE plastic is the most environmentally stable of all plastics – giving off no harmful fumes into the environment.
*Manufacturing HDPE plastics requires only a fraction of the energy required to produce steel from iron ore, further contributing to its classification of being Eco-friendly.
*HDPE recycled plastic is essentially maintenance free, with exceptional resistance to salt spray, oil, moisture, fading, insects, graffiti, splinting, warping and other hazards of environmental exposure common to wood or wood fiber composite products.
*Healthy Building recommends HDPE resin based products as the most environmentally friendly building material.
*HDPE is commonly used to make toys, food storage containers, marine products, drain pipe, food preparation products and outdoor signage.
*When HDPE is recycled it is available in both profile lumber and sheet form, allowing for many popular outdoor products such as waste & recycling receptacles, decking, bike racks, benches, picnic tables, fencing and furniture.
*HDPE products are used in many markets settings including hotels and resorts, colleges & universities, food service, retail, golf courses, municipal parks and public venues.
*Use of HDPE materials contributes towards satisfying LEED credits.
The two most common types of HDPE packaging are bottles and film. Bottles are manufactured in a process called blow molding. They are commonly available in various sizes up to a five-gallon capacity. For specific applications in chemicals, HDPE bottles can meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the United Nations regulations for hazmat packaging. Films are manufactured in a process termed extrusion. Many retail bags are made from HDPE in a variety of thicknesses, typically between 2-10 mils.
Beauty : Cosmetics , Shampoo
Hygiene and sanitation : Dish detergent , Laundry detergent, Household cleaners
Bags : Groceries, Retail
Food/Drink : Milk/juice, Food, Cereal and snack liners
Scientific : Chemicals, Solvents
Medical : Devices, Pharmaceutical
HDPE packaging is used every day around us in many consumer, scientific and medical applications. The chemistry of the material allows for use in a wide array of applications. It can be processed in many forms to create bottles, containers and film. HDPE can be considered one of the most essential materials in the packaging industry.
HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE Plastic Bag
When ethylene is polymerized it results in fairly straight polymer chains, which are branched out from the main chain depending upon the degree of branching in their molecular structure. Here is how polyethylene types differ from each other in terms of physical and chemical properties :
Chemical Structures: LDPE is generated from free radical polymerization, which results in short as well as long branching of chains. This makes them highly ductile, but they have low durability and tensile strength. High-density polyethylene’s polymer chain has less branching. This leads to bonded and densely packed molecules making them more robust, rigid, and durable. LLDPE is more flexible than LDPE and HDPE. This is because it has multiple short branches, which can easily slide against each other without entangling.
Densities: LDPE has a low density of 0.91-0.925g/cm3. Unlike LDPE, HDPE has a high density of 0.941-0.965g/cm3. LLDPE has a density of 0.91-0.94g/cm3.
Melting Points: Polythene becomes liquid at its melting point. This allows easy injection molding and subsequent recycling of the melting point of LDPE and HDPE varies between 110 and 135 degrees Celsius, whereas LLDPE has a melting point of 122 degrees Celsius.
Heat Resistance: LLDPE has the least heat resistance. It experiences a drastic decrease in density when subjected to a temperature beyond 20 degrees Celsius. HDPE, on the other hand, can withstand heat with a temperaturee of more than 100 degrees Celsius. LLDPE has a superior low-temperature heat-resistance ability.
Chemical Resistance: All of these plastic materials have superior resistance to most alcohols, solvents, alkalis, and acids, and low resistance to most selected hydrocarbons.
Applications: Each of these polyethylene types offers a unique set of advantages, making them ideal for various industrial applications. LDPE is widely used in light packaging materials such as waterproof carton lining, plastic wraps, and so on. It is also used in computer hardware covers and packaging, wash bottles, and more. HDPE is used in strong packaging materials such as plastic milk bottles, drums, bulk containers, bottle caps for industrial use. Also, it is used in pipes and tubing, plastic chairs and tables. LLDPE is used in extrusion coating applications to protect the content of liquid containers.