High density polyethylene

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A type of Polyethylene composed primarily of long, linear hydrocarbon chains. This produces a tightly packed crystalline polymer with a density greater than 0.94. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is stiffer, harder and less permeable than low density polyethylene. It also has higher tensile strength and lower impact strength. HDPE is used for containers, packaging films, fibers, pipes, and molded pieces. It is also found in toys, bowls, and milk bottle crates.

Synonyms and Related Terms

HDPE; high-density polyethylene; polietileno de alta densidad (Esp.); polyéthylène haute densité (Fr.); polietilene ad alta densità (It.); polietileno de alta densidade (Port.)


  • Dust may cause irritation.
  • Susceptible to stress cracking
  • Genesis Polymers: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • For a 1 mil film: Oxygen transmission =1368-4256 ml/m2d Water vapor transmission = 57-76 g/m2d
  • Resistant to most solvents except nitric and hydrochloric acids. May swell in oil.
CAS 9002-88-4
Melting Point 150 C
Density >0.94 g/ml


General Characteristics of Polymers

Physical Properties for Selected Thermoplastic Resins

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988

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