What is HDPE?

Plastic injection moulding HDPE is one of the most commonly used plastics in injection moulding. HDPE, or High-Density Polyethylene is a thermoplastic polymer renowned for being tough, cheap, and versatile. Due to these and other benefits, it is one of the most popular manufacturing plastics, accordingly over 30 million tonnes of HDPE are bought and sold around the globe every year. HDPE can be blow moulded, compression moulded, and injection moulded.

What can be made from HDPE?

At BEC Group plastic injection moulding HDPE is used to make everything from bath toys, food containers and household goods. HDPE can also be used in the manufacture of filters – we used it for IMI Webber ‘s specialist over-moulded sintered filter. Its excellent chemical resistance properties made it the best material choice for the automotive environment. Part of a pneumatic manifold for a 4×4 suspension system, HDPE is comparatively a good materials candidate for this project and surpassed all other material options.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of using this popular thermoplastic?

Pros of using HDPE

· Low cost
· Tough
· Good chemical resistance (a lot of chemicals are supplied in HDPE containers)
· Widely recycled
· Food grades available
· Can be heat welded (gas pipes)
· Doesn’t leach into food and water, containers etc
· Rigidity

Cons of using HDPE

· High thermal expansion
· Poor UV resistance (additives are available)
· Subject to stress cracking
· Difficult to bond (glues)
· Flammable
· Can look cheap
· Poor temperature capability

Recycling HDPE

One of the most-commonly recycled plastics, HDPE is used in milk bottles and pipes to shampoo bottles and shopping bags. In the UK, the majority of recycling facilities accept HDPE. Once collected, sorted, and cleaned, HDPE is melted down and cooled into pellets to be re-used. It is more cost-effective and sustainable to recycle HDPE over creating virgin HDPE (and use large amounts of fossil fuels in the process). 

Recycled HDPE comes in both food-grade and non-food-grade and can be used in containers, recycling bins and outdoor decking among many other applications.

Keep an eye out for BEC’s new recycled range (released early 2023) which will include a recycled HDPE for use by our customers. Get in touch to find out more email hello@becgroup.com or call 01425 613131 today.