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Polyethylene (HDPE) Sheets

The Plastic People supply one of today’s most widely used types of plastic: high-density polyethylene (abbreviation HDPE) which is especially suited to industrial or engineering applications.  Like many other plastics, HDPE often replaces heavier materials helping companies to pursue sustainability goals.  “Strong and lightweight” can translate into “less impact on the environment.”

One of the most versatile and economical plastics, our HDPE sheets provide excellent abrasion resistance and low friction which make it a popular choice.
 

Reasons to use HDPE sheets

  • It’s lightweight yet super-strong. Test it out using an HDPE jug that weighs about 55 grams and can carry 4.5 litres of water.
  • It’s easily welded and great to machine on CNC or traditional machines.  HDPE will provide a nice smooth surface.
  • It’s long lasting and weather resistant.  Think of those plastic deck boards in the garden which can entertain generations of families.
  • It resists mold, mildew, rotting, and insects, so it’s great for underground water pipes. 
  • It provides low friction and outstanding wear resistance. Because of this, it is probably more frequently used than any other plastic as a low friction wear strip on company conveyors and production lines. Fixed to conveyors as a guard rail, HDPE Sheet excels. 
  • It’s recognised as a food safe plastic and, as such, is widely used in kitchens for chopping boards.
  • It’s easily molded into nearly any shape.
  • It's softer than engineering plastics such as nylon and acetal - which means it will cause no damage to parts passing by on a production line for example.

Our HDPE sheeting range

Our high quality PE plastic sheets are available in three grades: HDPE 300, HDPE 500 and HDPE 1000. The number dictates the density of the plastic with the 1000 grade being more dense, slightly harder grade and a little more expensive.
  •  PE 300 is easy to fabricate and offers low coefficient of friction, so can retain excellent strength impact even at -30C. The material is commonly used to make tanks and silos.
  • PE 500 offers high wear resistance and performs at -50C. It is chosen where repeated impact is expected, such as fenders and protection strips.
  •  PE 1000 is the most wear resistant and can operate even when temperatures drop as low as -270C.

Polyethylene features

Each sheet has a waxy texture with one side gloss and the other matt.  Neither side is covered with protective film (normal for engineering plastics) so we are unable to guarantee a totally scratch free surface.  

If high impact resistance is required or a plastic that will easily bond,  other plastics such as harder nylon and acetal could be better options.  HDPE  is difficult to bond to anything and needs to be physically or mechanically fixed in place rather than bonded. Please call or email our friendly plastic experts for advice and assistance in choosing the most appropriate plastic for your purposes. 


For more information about our polyethylene sheets and prices, explore our range below and buy with confidence from our experts at The Plastic People. 


 
 

Polyethylene Products

Natural Polyethylene 500
Natural Polyethylene 500
from £137.68 inc VAT
 
Natural Polyethylene 1000
Natural Polyethylene 1000
from £205.67 inc VAT

Polyethylene

What is polyethylene used for?

 
Polyethylene is a versatile polymer that has numerous applications across various industries. Here are some examples of what it can be used for:
 
  • Packaging - Polyethylene is widely used in packaging applications due to its excellent moisture barrier properties, flexibility, and durability.
  • Pipes and Fittings – HDPE is commonly used in the manufacture of pipes and fittings for various applications such as water distribution, drainage systems, and gas transportation due to its ability to resist corrosion/chemicals.
  • Construction Materials - Polyethylene is used in construction for a variety of purposes, including insulation, vapour barriers, geomembranes, and protective films.
  • Automotive Components - Polyethylene is used in automotive applications for manufacturing fuel tanks, bumpers, interior trim, and various other components, as it is a lightweight material.
  • Electrical Insulation - Polyethylene is used as electrical insulation in wires, cables, and other electrical components due to its thermal stability and resistance to moisture.
 

Is polyethylene sheeting waterproof?


Polyethylene (HDPE) is almost completely waterproof, though it will allow gases to pass through it. This makes it ideal for covering items that may be left out in all weather conditions. 
 
 

How do you cut polyethylene sheets?


Cutting polyethylene sheets can be done using various tools and methods, depending on the thickness of the sheet and the precision required for the cut. Here are some ways to cut them:
 
  • Sharp utility knife - For thin sheets of polyethylene, a sharp utility knife can be used to make straight cuts.
  • Scissors - For small cuts or those requiring detail, especially with thinner polyethylene sheets, sharp scissors can be effective. Use scissors with strong, sharp blades to ensure clean cuts without edge tearing.
  • Circular Saw - For thicker polyethylene sheets, a circular saw equipped with a fine-toothed blade can be used to make straight cuts. Make sure the sheet is secured, and make sure you use appropriate safety equipment!
  • Jigsaw - A jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade can be used for cutting curves, angles, or irregular shapes in polyethylene sheets. Ensure the sheet is adequately supported and clamped to ensure accurate cutting.
  • Heat Cutting - For thin polyethylene sheets, heat cutting using a hot knife or soldering iron can be an effective method. The heat melts through the plastic, creating clean edges without the risk of tearing or fraying.
 
Regardless of the method used, it's essential to take appropriate safety precautions, such as wearing protective eyewear and gloves, especially when working with power tools. Additionally, always ensure the work area is well-ventilated especially when using heat cutting methods, as melted plastic can give off dangerous fumes.