HDPE film and LDPE film are two of the most popular options when it comes to plastic film products, particularly when it comes to food containers and packages. Choosing plastic film for packaging, containers, or other projects can be a complicated process. There are tons of different materials to consider, all with their own set of qualities and advantages. There are many similarities between these two materials. So there is some overlap between their relevant industries and applications.
However, there are some key differences as well. And understanding these factors can help you more effectively separate the two options and choose the most applicable material for each specific project.
If you’re looking for plastic film materials and want to understand the dynamics of HDPE vs. LDPE film, read on for a quick guide.
HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene. The film variant of this popular plastic material is known for being fairly linear, stiff, and crystalline. This makes it a more tough and solid option than many other materials in the polyethylene family, including LDPE.
In most cases, it is produced with a white, matte finish. However, it can also be offered in a variety of colors and finishes to match the look needed for each specific project. The film is also fairly easy to process and can be blended with other polymers or additives if needed to create the desired look and finish. Additionally, HDPE film is a relatively cost efficient material, so it’s budget friendly for a wide array of industries and applications.
Because of these unique material properties HDPE film is suitable for applications in a variety of industries. However, it is most often utilized in food and beverage containers and the packaging industry. Since it’s a strong, food safe material, it can safely contain edible items. And the rigidity and versatility of the material make it applicable for packaging a wide array of other products as well.
LDPE stands for Low Density Polyethylene. The film variant of this polyethylene plastic shares some of the same qualities as HDPE film. However, as the name suggests, it is not as dense, which makes it less rigid than its counterpart.
LDPE film can be produced in a variety of colors and finishes. But it is also offered in a clear coating and high gloss finishes. Some of the qualities that make LDPE film stand out include its good optical clarity, chemical resistance, and ability to block moisture. It is also very easy to process, making it a practical and efficient material. LDPE film can also be heat sealed, which makes it a strong and tough barrier for a variety of applications. However, it is also highly flexible.
Like HDPE, LDPE film is also commonly used in the food and beverage industry and in various forms of packaging. More specifically, the material is especially well suited for applications that need more flexibility than rigidity. Things like shrink wraps, bags, and liners are perfect for the qualities that LDPE film displays. Outside of those industries, LDPE film can also be used in other applications like envelopes, shipping sacks, mattress bags, construction and agricultural applications, grocery bags, and trash can liners, among others.
How to Choose Between the Two
The uses and applications for HDPE and LDPE film overlap quite a bit. Both food and beverage and packaging companies are likely to use both of these materials in different instances. So how should you decide when considering HDPE vs. LDPE film?
The decision mainly comes down to rigidity vs. flexibility. If a project requires a material that is tough and holds a mostly rigid form, then the higher density option of HDPE film is likely a better option. However, if your project requires a material that can fit in different containers and change shape when necessary, then the lower density of LDPE film is a better option.
However, there are additional qualities and smaller features that may also help to separate the two materials. For example, HDPE film generally offers better resistance to chemicals, along with good vapor barriers and weathering properties. This makes it better suited for packaging or other materials where it may be exposed to chemicals or moisture. It also provides more impact resistant strength and corrosion resistance. So overall, it’s more durable and able to withstand a wider variety of environments than LDPE film is. However, LDPE does still offer some chemical and moisture resistance. So it really depends on the type of exposure your packaging or products may be in contact with.
Overall, both of these materials provide plenty of strength, durability, and flexibility. Once you evaluate the needs of each specific project, you can determine which option is the best fit. And if you regularly choose materials for food and beverage containers or other forms of packaging, there’s a good chance you’ll use both at some point.
Whether you’re in the market HDPE or LDPE film, PolymerFilms has a wide array of both materials to choose from. We offer customizable plastic film products that are perfect for use in food and beverage containers and other types of packaging. In addition, our solutions can work in applications like printed electronics, displays, and ID cards. All of them are available in various gauges and sizes, with in-house conversion capabilities to ensure that each client receives plastic films produced to their exact specifications. We have five distribution centers throughout North America, which allows our team to provide personalized service to each client and provide fast turnaround times for each new quote and order. If you’re ready to discuss your plastic film needs or place an order for HDPE or LDPE film, visit our website to request a free consultation today.