A thermoplastic polymer made from petroleum, high density polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the most versatile and widely-used plastics in the world. Most commonly associated with short-term or one-time-use household food and chemical bottles, HDPE is extremely sturdy and resistant to breaking or cracking.
HDPE is 100% recyclable and, depending on your waste management service, can typically be picked up right at your curb. Milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, one-time use water bottles, and plenty of other household products are all made of HDPE (you can identify an HDPE product by the number “2” stamped into it). Among its many applications, recycled HDPE is one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture, decking, and playgrounds. Even better, HDPE products are long-lasting and largely maintenance free (if you have a plastic “wood” deck or set of Adirondack chairs in your backyard, you can certainly vouch for this).
HDPE machining and HDPE fabricating are both extremely common and relatively simple compared to other materials. A favorite for injection and blow molding applications, HDPE is malleable and can be easily molded into any shape. A favorite for HDPE fabricators and DIY-ers of every skill level, HDPE has supreme bonding qualities and can be heat formed, welded, drilled, sawed, and otherwise altered with household tools.
As far as HDPE distribution and sales, HDPE is commonly sold in cut-to-size sheets or rods of varying thicknesses. Multiple grades, textures, and colors are also available depending on the application for which it will be used. For more on HDPE applications, or HDPE fabrication, contact the plastics experts at JC Finley.