HDPE vs. PVC: Attributes and Applications

HDPE and PVC are some of the most highly used plastics and plastic films. They are frequently used in the same industries, but they offer different advantages. If you must decide between HDPE vs PVC, the basic facts about each of these plastics may make the difference.

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HDPE Attributes and Applications

HDPE films, or high-density polyethylene films, are more linear, stiff, and crystalline than other materials in the polyethylene family.

HDPE is an affordable option that is available in several colors and finishes, although it typically has a white matte appearance. The films also offer good chemical resistance, release properties, vapor barriers, and weathering resistance, all while providing outstanding impact, corrosion, and creep resistance as well.

HDPE is ideal for applications that need tensile and compression strength. These films are commonly used for graphic printing, point-of-purchase displays, industrial films, and diagnostic strips within the medical field. 

Especially notable is the use of HDPE within the food and beverage industry. Because it resists odors and chemicals, it is often the material of choice for applications that need FDA approval. It is frequently used for packaging, bagsand liners, as well as various applications within the agricultural industry.

HDPE films have become increasingly popular in recent years because they can be made very thin while remaining durable. HDPE films are typically about 0.0005 inches to 0.03 inches thick.

Available in translucent or opaque colors, the films may be made with anti-static, flame-retardant, and ultraviolet properties as well.

PVC Attributes and Applications

PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a thermoplastic available in flexible, blown, or rigid forms. It is one of the most common plastics used within the building and construction industry, such as for pool liners, wall decor, furniture coverings, and cable and wire insulation. It is ideal for use underground as well as above ground.

In addition to its popularity in the building and construction industry, PVC is also commonly used within the medical industry for disposable medical devices, such as testing tools and equipment.

PVC is available in firm, soft, clear, opaque, coated, and matte finishes. It is extremely versatile while remaining affordable and durable. One of its most notable attributes is that it softens easily, so it is well-suited for thermoforming. PVC also offers high clarity and dimensional stability, while being printable and easy to die cut.

PVC films are commonly used for the following purposes:

  • Decals and labels
  • Identification cards
  • Signage
  • Automotive fabric and other interior areas
  • Packaging, shrink wrap and stretch wrap
  • Bottle sleeving
  • Adhesive tape backing
  • Bags used within the medical industry, such as blood bags and intravenous bags
  • Office products

HDPE vs PVC

HDPE films and PVC films are frequently used in similar industries and for similar applications, but they differ in numerous ways. The following are several highlights of HDPE vs PVC products.

1. They are made of different materials. PVC is a vinyl polymer. HDPE is a polyethylene thermoplastic that consists of petroleum.

2. High-density polyethylene is more crystalline. Polyvinyl chloride is an amorphous material.

3. Their greatest benefits differ. If you need a strong and heavy material, PVC might be a better choice for you. If you are looking for a firmer, more dense material that resists abrasion and heat, HDPE might be the way to go.

4. HDPE materials absorb shock better than PVC products do.

5. HDPE stands up to rain, snow, and wind better. It can also withstand the rays of the sun significantly longer than PVC can, although PVC can hold up for a few years as well.

6. HDPE is more corrosion-resistant.

Reliable Solutions from Your Local Plastic Film Distributor

Contact us for more information about the advantages of HDPE vs PVC, both of which are durable, affordable plastic films available through PolymerFilms.

Our organization is exclusively a plastic film distributor that serves clients in a wide array of industries, from medical devices and printed electronics to sign and display applications. Our large inventory allows us to provide solutions that cater to our clients’ specific needs, and our knowledgeable team is always happy to provide guidance and expertise. 

We even have access to in-house conversion equipment, which allows us to convert film products to suit the specific needs of each application. 

Our five distribution centers are spread throughout North America to ensure fast quotes and turnaround times, along with friendly and personalized service. 

Visit our website to request a free consultation and see what type of difference a quality plastic film manufacturer can make.

HDPE vs. PVC: Attributes and Applications

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