If you are just starting out in the plastics sector, it might be difficult to choose which plastic would serve your needs best. Not all plastics are made the same, and in a recent essay, “When it Comes to Material Selection, Not All Plastics Are Created Equal,” we briefly introduced the polymers that Impact extrudes, discussing some of their more general properties and typical applications.
In the following article, we’ll dive deeper into one of Impact’s plastic sheet materials, HighDensity Polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is the most extensively used polymer in consumer goods and is also one of the most adaptable polymers.
What is HDPE?
One of the most widely utilized, versatile, and robust plastics available is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). However, what is it? HDPE, or high-density polyethylene, is a hardy plastic used in the manufacturing of jars and bottles intended for temporary storage. If you want to know if a container is made of green HDPE plastic (such as a cutting board with sliced lemons), you may tell by looking for a number 2 inside the three-arrow recycling sign. You can’t go to a supermarket without encountering HDPE plastic and realizing its significance.
Containers made from them are used for a wide range of products, not just liquids like milk and juice. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is widely employed in many modern manufacturing processes. Despite its widespread applicability, HDPE’s fame is also due to other factors. Its worth is increased by the fact that it is safe for the environment. HDPE is used in many containers and packaging materials, including milk, soap, bleach, shampoo, and conditioner. HDPE is used in a wide variety of everyday products, from toys to drain pipes to outdoor signage to patio sets.
What Makes HDPE Stand Out From the Crowd?
Due to its versatility, HDPE has seen explosive growth in demand. HDPE is used in every industry, including restaurants, stadiums, shopping malls, and hotel and resort chains. That’s why plenty of people are drawn to HDPE specifically. Moreover, HDPE’s positive impact on the environment is one of the numerous reasons businesses are increasingly using it. HDPE has a significant potential for recycling. Common uses include the production of plastic and wood composites for use in construction. They are manufactured mostly from recycled materials and can be recycled when their usefulness is done.HDPE plastics are used in the plumbing and construction industries because of their durability and resistance to mold, mildew, rot, and insects.
HDPE has a greater density than other PE varieties:
Constantly HighDensity Simply said high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a type of polyethylene that has a greater mass per unit volume than standard HDPE. When ethylene is polymerized, it results in long, linear chains of hydrocarbon monomers, which is polyethylene. The degree to which these chains branch is what determines the quality of PE generated, and this branching may be controlled by modifying the polymerization process. HDPE has higher density and rigidity because its polymer chain branches out less than those of other plastics.
Thermoplastic polymers can be either amorphous or semi-crystalline, with amorphous polymers being the more common type. Semi-crystalline polymers, like high-density polyethylene (HDPE), have well-ordered and closely packed molecular chains. Crystalline regions are known as spherulites, and they can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with amorphous regions lying in between. Numerous polymer properties are modified by the crystallinity level. HDPE benefits from this by being denser and stronger.
HDPE has both low weight and high strength:
The HDPE is stronger and denser because of its high crystallinity, as was mentioned previously. HDPE has a lower density than numerous other polymers, including polypropylene and levels of Low-Density PE, yet is denser than standard PE. HDPE is surprisingly strong and has good impact strength given its low thickness and compact size. HDPE’s strong strength-to-weight ratio makes it a viable inter-material substitute for heavier loads, reducing solid waste by weight and making for a more environmentally friendly alternative.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) can be used in many contexts:
HDPE, one of the most adaptable plastics, is used in a wide variety of contexts, from food to medicine to building materials. An HDPE bottle or container is something that the average customer interacts with on a near-daily basis. Tyvek is only one example of the many packaging options that can be made from this material; when combined with rigid HDPE, it creates a single recycling stream for the entire package. Furthermore, Impact Plastics offers HDPE resins that have been recognized by the United States Pharmacopeia to be suitable for use in medical devices, or USP Class VI.
Recyclability of HDPE:
Speaking of recycling, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is accepted by virtually every curbside program in the United States. In fact, more than sixty percent of the American population has access to recycling facilities that take HDPE rigid packaging, according to Moore’s ‘2015-16 Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling. As an added bonus, HDPE rigid containers had the second highest recovery rates (at 34.1%, to be exact) after polypropylene (at 38.3%, to be exact) according to Moore’s 2014 Non-bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling research. The material has a high rate of recovery, and it may be used in a wide variety of settings. Plastic storage containers, plastic lumber, patio furniture, vehicle parts, and recycling bins are just a few of the current uses for recycled HDPE. Taking into account these criteria, it’s clear that HDPE is the most environmentally friendly option.
HDPE blocks moisture:
This material’s exceptional moisture resistance makes it ideal for usage in those situations. HDPE has an MVTR of 0.5 (g-mil. 100 in. 2/24hr. ), which is the measure of how well it keeps moisture out. The longer a package is able to keep its contents dry and free of moisture, as measured by its moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), the better. MVTR is the rate at which water vapor diffuses across a barrier. The MVTR of polypropylene is the same as that of HDPE. The MVTR for polystyrene is 10, for PET it’s 2, and for PVC it’s 3. HDPE and polypropylene are the ideal materials to use as a moisture barrier because of this. Impact Plastics’ multi-layer coextrusion capabilities enable the incorporation of a PE layer into a coextruded product for use as a moisture barrier.
HDPE is resistant to most chemicals:
HDPE is not only a great resin for applications that need a good moisture barrier but also one that requires exceptional chemical resistance. Organic solvents, degreasing chemicals, and electrolytic attacks don’t have a chance against this substance. There is little to no cracking under environmental stress in this substance (ESCR). When some plastics are subjected to surface active wetting agents such as alcohols, soaps, surfactants, and others, they can develop brittle stress cracks or fractures, also known as environmental stress cracks. Resistance to environmental stress cracking (ESCR) is a property of polymers. This can be anything from a few months for a milk or juice bottle to decades for a car tank or pipe, depending on the quality of the polyethylene used.
Are you looking to purchase HDPE?
Used for storing and transporting chemicals; used as containers for food and drink; used as toys; used as cable insulation; used as carrying bags; used to wrap food.
The material is versatile, transparent/waxy, waterproof, durable at low temperatures (to -60 °C), processable in a wide variety of ways, inexpensive, and chemically resistant.
What exactly is HDPE, and what are its characteristics?
In the realm of thermoplastics, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic is a popular option. As a multipurpose material, it has various advantages over other polymers and may be put to many different uses. HDPE plastic is notable for a number of reasons.
- Superior strength-to-weight ratio
- The high strength-to-weight ratio of HDPE plastic makes it useful in many contexts.
- Excellent resilience to shock
- The strong impact resistance of HDPE plastic makes it a good choice for durable goods.
- Reduced susceptibility to soaking up wetness
- HDPE plastic is very water-repellent, making it suitable for use outdoors.
Since HDPE plastic can be used in a variety of applications and lasts for a long time without breaking down, it is a popular option for both businesses and individuals. HDPE plastic also leaves less of an environmental impact than other plastics.
What steps are involved in producing HDPE plastic, and what advantages does this have?
An injection molding procedure is used to create HDPE plastic. As a result of this method, complex designs can be included in finished goods.
Is there any risk associated with using HDPE plastic items, and if so, how may it be reduced?
Products made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic are not biodegradable and can remain in landfills for decades. HDPE plastics, on the other hand, can be reused or recycled.