Polyethylene (HDPE/LDPE)

 In Food-Safe Materials, Thermoplastics

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Polyethylene Thermoplastic Characteristics

Polyethylene (PE) is the most widely used thermoplastic polymer for fabricated parts and components. It is available in a variety of grades and formulations to suit different needs. In general, polyethylenes offer excellent chemical and impact resistance, electrical properties and low coefficient of friction. In addition, polyethylenes are lightweight, easily processed and offer near-zero moisture absorption. See details of its material properties in the chart below.

There are four categories of polyethylene thermoplastic material based on density/property: low, medium, high (HDPE) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. Its characteristics include:

  • Economical
  • Low co-efficient of friction
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Stable in cryogenic environments
  • Good impact resistance
  • FDA/USDA approved (HDPE)
  • Resistant to many solvents (HDPE)
  • Good fatigue and wear resistance (HDPE)
  • Zero water absorption (HDPE)

Applications for Polyethylene (PE) Thermoplastic

  • Conveyor guides
  • Chute liners
  • Chemical holding tanks
  • Food processing parts
  • Medical equipment
  • Packaging applications
  • Conveyor wear strips (HDPE)
  • Piping systems (HDPE)
  • Liquid dispensing equipment (HDPE)
  • Marine components (HDPE)

Contact a Dielectric Manufacturing knowledge expert to discuss the use of polyethylene for fabrication of your plastic parts. Call 800-367-9122 or email sales@dielectricmfg.com.

Polyethylene Material Properties

Property Metricunits Englishunits
General
Density952 - 965kg/m^300.344 - 0.0349lb/ft^3
Mechanical
Yield Strength2.62e7 - 3.1e7Pa3.8 - 4.5ksi
Tensile Strength2.21e7 - 3.1e7Pa3.21 - 4.5ksi
Elongation11.2 - 12.9% strain1.12e3 - 1.29e3% strain
Hardness (Vickers)7.75e7 - 9.71e7Pa7.9 - 9.9HV
Impact Strength (un-notched)1.9e5 - 2e5J/m^290.4 - 95.2ft.lbf/in^2
Fracture Toughness1.52e6 - 1.82e6Pa/m^0.51.38 - 1.66ksi/in^0.5
Young's Modulus1.07e9 - 1.09e9Pa0.155 - 0.15810^6 psi
Thermal
Max Service Temperature113 - 129°C235 - 264°F
Melting Temperature130 - 137°C266 - 279°F
Insulator or ConductorInsulatorInsulator
Specific Heat Capability1.75e3 - 1.81e3J/kg °C0.418 - 0.432BTU/lb. °F
Thermal Expansion Coefficient1.06e-4 - 1.98e-4strain/°C59 - 110µstrain/°F
Eco
CO2 Footprint1.95 - 2.15kg/kg1.95 - 2.15lb/lb
RecyclableYesYes