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