Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from the monomer ethylene. LDPE is defined by a density range of 0.910-0.940 g/cm³. It is not reactive at room temperatures, except by strong oxidizing agents, and some solvents cause swelling. It can withstand temperatures of 80ºC continuously and 95ºC for a short time. Made in translucent or opaque variations, it is quite flexible, and tough but breakable.

LDPE has more branching (on about 2% of the carbon atoms) than HDPE, so its intermolecular forces weaker, its tensile strength is lower, and its resilience is higher. Also, since its molecules are less tightly packed and less crystalline because of the side branches, its density is lower.
Unit of Measure


N/A 1 1/2 in38 1/10 mm


N/A Natural

Material Resin


Tolerance (±)

N/A 0.002 in

Bead Finish

N/A Polished


N/A 0.92 g/cm³

Max Operating Temperature

N/A 71 ºC

Tensile Strength

N/A 2000 psi

Durometer/Hardness Rating

N/A 41 to 50D

LDPE Resistance

  • Excellent resistance to diluted and concentrated Acids, Alcohols, Bases and Esters
  • Great resistance to Aldehydes, Ketones and Vegetable Oils
  • Limited to Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Mineral Oils and Oxidizing Agents
  • Poor resistance and not recommended for use with Halogenated Hydrocarbons

LDPE Quick Facts

  • Maximum Temperature: 176ºF 80ºC
  • Minimum Temperature: -58ºF -50ºC
  • Autoclavable: No
  • Melting Point: 248ºF 120ºC
  • Tensile Strength: 1700 psi
  • Hardness: SD55
  • UV Resistance: Poor
  • Translucent
  • Excellent Flexibility
  • Specific Gravity: 0.92

LDPE Fabrication

  • Weldable and machinable
  • Great for parts that require flexibility
  • Trays & containers
  • Food storage and laboratory
  • Corrosion resistant work surfaces
  • Very soft and pliable

Additional Information

N/A LDPE is extensively used for manufacturing various containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, plastic bags for computer components, and various molded laboratory equipment. Its most frequent use is in plastic bags.

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