High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. 

The mass density of high-density polyethylene can range from 0.93 to 0.97 g/cm³. Although the density of HDPE is only slightly higher than that of low-density polyethylene, HDPE has little branching, giving it stronger intermolecular forces and tensile strength than LDPE. The differentiation in strength exceeds the difference in density, giving HDPE a higher specific strength. Also it is harder and more opaque and can withstand to some extent higher temperatures (120ºC/ 248ºF for short periods, 110ºC/ 230ºF continuously). High-density polyethylene, unlike polypropylene, cannot withstand normally required autoclaving conditions.
Unit of Measure


N/A 1/8 in3 7/40 mm


N/A Orange

Material Resin


Tolerance (±)

N/A 0.002 in

Bead Finish

N/A Polished


N/A 0.95 g/cm³

Max Operating Temperature

N/A 82 ºC

Tensile Strength

N/A 4600 psi

Durometer/Hardness Rating

N/A 69D

HDPE Resistance

  • Excellent resistance to diluted and concentrated Acids, Alcohols and Bases.
  • Good resistance to Aldehydes, Esters, Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Ketones and Mineral and Vegetable Oils.
  • Limited resistance to Halogenated Hydrocarbons and Oxidizing Agents.

HDPE Quick Facts

  • Maximum Temperature: 248ºF 120ºC
  • Minimum Temperature: -148ºF -100ºC
  • Autoclavable: No
  • Melting Point: 266ºF 130ºC
  • Tensile Strength: 4550 psi
  • Hardness: SD65
  • UV Resistance: Poor
  • Translucent
  • Rigid
  • Specific Gravity: 0.95

HDPE is readily available in many forms such as sheet, rod and tubing for fabrication

  • Excellent for any food related products, FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact. This material machine is extremely well.
  • Great substance resistance and high stiffness make it a good choice for trays and tanks.
  • Other uses include pipe fittings, wear plates, hinges and cutting boards.
  • Good impact resistance, light weight, very low moisture absorption, and high tensile strength. Not recommended for gluing. Mechanical fastening is one option, but preferably joined by hot air or nitrogen welding. Also, Ultrasonic, Laser, and infrared welding.

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