Choosing the right plastic is essential to the success of every manufacturing and packaging project. Most plastics are formed from any of six different popular plastics or a plastic mixture with concentrations of different resins.
Short-term storage containers, such as bottles and jugs, are usually made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This is a versatile and robust plastic. HDPE plastic containers are identifiable by the numeral “2” printed inside the container’s recycling symbol.
An Overview of HDPE
High-density polyethylene is produced from petroleum. It is a thermoplastic polymer—a polymer that melts into a liquid for easy forming and shaping. Manufacturers can easily create strong, customized containers by melting and treating HDPE.
The material is also ideal for custom printing and coloring, making it one of the most common materials for packaging. HDPE can also be made food-safe and it withstands caustic chemicals.
Given this versatility, it is used to make a variety of common containers such as:
- Bleach bottles
- Cutting boards
- Milk jugs
- Plastic bottles
- Shampoo bottle
One of HDPE’s most essential characteristics is its strength. The plastic has a high degree of tensile strength, so it is resistant to breakage from tension and impact damage. HDPE also has a high melting point, so it won’t degrade from heat under general, non-factory conditions. These features make the material ideal for producing reliable containers for consumer products and materials being transported.
Other benefits of using HDPE include:
- Easily recyclable
- Resistant to corrosion, even when holding liquid
- Can be melted and reshaped
- High strength-to-density ratio, making it cost-effective for transporting materials and products
Differences Between HDPE and LDPE
High-density polyethylene is just one type of polyethylene. Low-density polyethylene is lighter and more flexible.
During fabrication, HDPE’s polymer chains endure minimal branching. This keeps the polymer’s linear molecules closely knit together. The chains crystallize in a tight formation, which gives HDPE its rigid and relatively dense structure. It can hold a firm shape, even under pressure.
Conversely, the polymer chains of LDPE undergo significant branching and spreading. The polymer chains are more diffuse and scattered, giving them much less structure. This makes the material lighter, more flexible, and more susceptible to damage.
As such, HDPE is preferred for most manufacturing and packaging purposes. It can form reliable, structured products such as toys, garbage cans, storage containers, jugs, and pipes. Recently, HDPE has also begun to replace cardboard as the preferred material for fireworks tubes. The plastic material is less likely to shatter during malfunctions and can be recycled once the firework has been used.
Low-density polyethylene is used to produce cling wrap, plastic bags, and other unstructured products.
Custom HDPE Solutions from New Process Fibre Today
HDPE is a sturdy, versatile material that provides an ideal material for manufacturing storage containers of many different types.
New Process Fibre specializes in complete stamping and die cutting services for HDPE. We also produce sheets, rolls, and coils of high-quality plastics in standard and custom colors at high speeds. We can provide HDPE in custom thicknesses, widths, and colors to meet your project specifications. We are an ISO 9001:2015-certified manufacturer.
Contact us today to learn more about our variety of plastic fabrication and stamping services or request a quote for your next project.