High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a cost-effective thermoplastic with linear structure and no or low degree of branching. It is manufactured at low temperature (70-300°C) and pressure (10-80 bar) & derived from either:
Modifying natural gas (a methane, ethane, propane mix) or
The catalytic cracking of crude oil into gasoline
HDPE is produced majorly using two techniques: Slurry Polymerization or Gas Phase Polymerization.
High density polyethylene is flexible, translucent/waxy, weather resistant, and displays toughness at very low temperatures.
High Density Polyethylene Chemical resistance:
Excellent resistance to most solvents
Very good resistance to alcohols, dilute acids and alkalis
Moderate resistance to oils and greases
Poor resistance to hydrocarbons (aliphatic, aromatic, halogenated)
Continuous temperature: -50°C to +60°C, Relatively stiff material with useful temperature capabilities
Higher tensile strength compared to other forms of polyethylene
Low cost polymer with good processability
Good low temperature resistance
Excellent electrical insulating properties
Very low water absorption
Excellent combination of properties makes HDPE an ideal material in diverse applications across industries. It can be engineered according to the end use requirements.
Some of the major uses of high density polyethylene include:
Packaging Applications: High Density Polyethylene is used in several packaging applications including crates, trays, bottles for milk and fruit juices, caps for food packaging, jerry cans, drums, industrial bulk containers etc. In such applications HDPE provides the end product a reasonable impact strength.
Consumer Goods: Low cost and easy processability make HDPE a material of choice in several household/ consumer goods like garbage containers, housewares, ice boxes, toys etc.
Fibers and Textiles: Thanks to its high tensile strength, HDPE is widely used in ropes, fishing and sport nets, nets for agricultural use, Industrial and decorative fabrics, etc.
Other applications of HDPE include pipes and fittings (pipes for gas, water, sewage, drainage, sea outfalls, industrial application, cable protection, steel pipe coating, large inspection chambers and manholes for pipe sewage etc.) due to its excellent resistance to chemical and hydrolysis,
automotive: fuel tanks, wiring & cables – sheeting of energy, telecommunication cables.