30th December, 2019

The Most Common Uses for High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a type of plastic that one can mold into a variety of shapes after heating it to an extremely high temperature. It is durable, as evidenced by its high strength-to-density ratio, and its density can change to fit the flexibility needs of various applications. Moreover, HDPE is resistant to a broad range of chemicals. But what specific kinds of products do professionals make from it? Here are some of the most common uses for high-density polyethylene (HDPE).


HDPE does not leach into its surroundings, so manufacturers can use it to make containers that are safe to store a variety of substances. Milk jugs and reusable water bottles are common beverage vessels that consist of HDPE. As stated, HDPE is also chemical resistant, which makes it perfect for holding shampoo and conditioner, laundry detergent, and antifreeze. Even recycling bins that you use at your home contain HDPE. In all its holding functions, HDPE provides security and resilience without causing any contamination.

Pipes and Coverings

The same properties that make HDPE so useful in containers also lend their use in pipes. Chemical resistance allows HDPE pipes to transport all kinds of liquids and act as an outer cover on cables and wires. When properly strengthened for this application, HDPE can withstand temperatures between around -220°F to 180°F as well. Examples of this type of HDPE use include sewer, water, and gas pipes, as well as coatings over automotive wires.

Plastic Lumber

A form of structural building material known as plastic lumber contains HDPE. Often, this involves used, recycled bottles, bringing new life to post-consumer waste. Plastic lumber itself can be flexible or rigid, depending on the project at hand. Smaller objects, such as playground parts and furniture, consist of relatively softer versions since they do not need to bear great weight. For decks and coastal retention, professionals can make plastic lumber harder with reinforcements from materials such as fiberglass to withstand great tension. Its versatility means that people can utilize it as an effective choice over more traditional but harder to maintain materials, such as wood, stone, or concrete. You could also use it in tandem with these other materials to give a structure greater water resistance, as moisture is unable to soak into HDPE.

These unique qualities endow plastic lumber with high potential in a variety of situations. For your next building project, consider Tangent’s structural composite lumber as a resilient and eco-friendly alternative that can withstand physical force, chemicals, and weather. Call us today.