Compare HDPE and LDPE to identify the best option for your project

Differences Between HDPE and LPDE

HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a durable, versatile, low-cost, abrasion- and chemical-resistant plastic material. HDPE is easy to fabricate and weld using thermoplastic welding equipment. It is an excellent choice for fabricated water tanks and chemical tanks.

LDPE (low density polyethylene) is a soft, flexible, lightweight plastic material. It is often used for orthotics and prosthetics. LDPE has good chemical and impact resistance and is easy to fabricate and form.

HDPE Material Characteristics
  • Easy to machine
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Impact resistant
  • Easy to fabricate
  • Easy to weld
HDPE Applications:
  • Chemical tanks
  • Cutting boards for food preparation
  • Water pipe flanges (HDPE pipe grade)
  • Outdoor and indoor playground systems
  • Marine construction (pile guards, bumpers, anti-skid surfaces)
  • Orthotics and prosthetics – AFOs, KAFOs
  • Light-duty tank, chute, and bin linings
  • Outdoor cabinetry and furniture
HDPE Common Brands
  • Polystone® G, Sanatec®, Orthoform®,
  • Sanalite®, Seaboard®, King StarBoard®, Playboard®, SIMOLIFE, Hitec®
LDPE Material Characteristics
  • Soft and pliable
  • Easy to weld and heat seal
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Impact resistance
  • Stain resistance
LDPE Applications:
  • Orthotics
  • Prosthetics
LDPE Common Brands
  • Orthoform®, Denesetec, TECAFINE®


Typical properties of HDPE vs. LDPE
Specific gravity (73°F)   D792 0.96 0.92
Tensile strength (73°F) psi D638 4,000 1,400
Tensile elongation (73°F) % D638 600 500
Flexural modulus of elasticity (73°F) psi D790 200,000 30,000
Rockwell M&R, Durometer Shore D (73°F)
scale as noted D785,
Shore D 69 Shore D 55
Izod impact (notched, 73°F) ft-lbs/in D256 - no break
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion in/in/°Fx10-5 D696 7.0 -
Heat deflection temperature @ 66 psi/264 psi °F D648 172 122
Water absorption (immersion 24 hours) % D570 0.10 0.10

Values may vary according to brand name. Please ask your Curbell Plastics representative for more specific information about an individual brand. *Double-15° notch