Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is predominantly used in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and transparency. LDPE has a low melting point making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary. Typically, LDPE is used to manufacture flexible films such as those used for dry cleaned garment. LDPE is also used to manufacture some flexible lids and bottles, and it is widely used in wire and cable applications for its stable electrical properties and processing characteristics.
LDPE carries the recycle logo no. 4
Popularity: 37% [?]
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is used for many packaging applications because it provides excellent moisture barrier properties and chemical resistance. However, HDPE, like all types of polyethylene, is limited to those food packaging applications that do not require an oxygen or C02 barrier.
As a film, HDPE is used in snack food packages and cereal box liners. In blow-moulded bottles, for milk and non-carbonated beverage bottles. In injection-moulded tub form, for packaging margarine, whipped toppings and deli foods.
Because HDPE has good chemical resistance, it is used for packaging many household as well as industrial chemicals such as detergents, bleach and acids. General uses of HDPE include injection-moulded beverage cases, bread trays as well as films for grocery sacks and bottles for beverages and household chemicals.
HDPE carries the recycle logo no. 2
Popularity: 36% [?]
Polyethylene (PE) or polythene is a thermoplastics material, heavily used in consumer products (notably for plastics shopping bags and packaging bottles). It is best known for its excellent chemical resistance properties. Due to its relatively low price and common application, it is classified as a commodity plastics. Over 60 million tons of this material are produced worldwide every year. Below are 3 common types of polyethylene.
Types of Polyethylene
The 3 major branch of PE are: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE); Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE); and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
HDPE is a relatively dense material with density over 0.941 g/cm3. Among the 3, HDPE is the stiffest and are mostly used for production of toys. The average melt temperature is about 180°C .
LLDPE has a density range of 0.915–0.925 g/cm3. In term of flexibility, it is somewhere between HDPE and LDPE. The average melt temperature is at 130°C.
LDPE is the most flexible and softest among the 3 types of PE. Its density ranges from 0.910–0.940 g/cm3 and the melt temperature is lower 120°C. Due to its flexibility, it is open used to produce squeeze bottles and food storage container lids.
- Stiffness increase from LDPE to LLDPE to HDPE
- Strength increases from LDPE to LLDPE to HDPE
- Resistant to water and solvents
- Low melting temperature
- Excellent electrical resistance
- Trash bags (LDPE and LLDPE)
- Packaging bottles (HDPE) – shampoo bottles, lubricant bottles, etc.
- Toys (HDPE)
- Trash bins (HDPE)
- Pipe for natural gas (HDPE)
- Packaging films and containers
- Electrical wiring coatings
Popularity: 36% [?]