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

Differences Between HDPE and LDPE

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 sheets | LDPE sheets

HDPE Material Characteristics

LDPE Material Characteristics

• Good chemical resistance
• Easy to weld
• Low moisture absorption
• Easy to machine
• Impact resistant
• Easy to fabricate
• Good chemical resistance
• Easy to weld and heat seal
• Low moisture absorption
• Soft and pliable

HDPE Applications

LDPE Applications

• Orthotics and prosthetics – AFOs, KAFOs
• Chemical tanks
• Cutting boards for food preparation
• Water pipe flanges (HDPE pipegrade)
• Outdoor and indoor playground systems
• Marine construction (pile guards, bumpers, anti-skid surfaces)
• Light-duty tank, chute, and bin linings
• Outdoor cabinetry and furniture
• Orthotics
• Prosthetics

HDPE Common Brands

LDPE Common Brands

• Polystone® G, Sanatec®, Orthoform®, Sanalite®, Seaboard®, StarLite®, King StarBoard®, Playboard®, SIMOLIFE, Hitec® • Orthoform®, C-TEK® MODStiff™, Denesetec, TECAFINE®

Typical Properties of HDPE vs. LDPE

Property Units ASTM Test
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) °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. 

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