Polyethylene is one of the most common types of plastics produced all over the world, and a wide variety of plastic products today are made from this thermoplastic polymer. While there are several types of polyethylene, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is extremely popular due to its unique chemical structure that leads to this plastic type being lightweight and extremely moisture-resistant.
One common, versatile product made with low-density polyethylene is an LDPE sheet. Read on to learn more about LDPE sheets, including the unique benefits of sheets made from this material, how LDPE compares to other polyethylene types, and just a few of the many uses for lightweight, moisture-resistant LDPE sheets.
How LDPE Compares to HDPE
While there are many types of polyethylene, the most common type in use today aside from LDPE is high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
HDPE, also known as number 2 plastic, is relatively rigid and strong. However, it lacks the flexibility of LDPE and other polyethylene types. For this reason, HDPE is often used to create milk jugs, other rigid food and beverage containers, and even super-tough plumbing pipes, yet is not a suitable option when creating products that must bend during use, like plastic sheeting.
LDPE, on the other hand, is not rigid but is instead extremely flexible, which is why it is the most common type of polyethylene used to create plastic sheeting. However, since it is not strong and stiff like HDPE, it cannot be used to create rigid containers, and LDPE items can be more easily punctured than products made from HDPE.
LDPE Sheets: Benefits
While not as strong as HDPE, LDPE has many unique benefits that can be obtained in few other plastics. First, LDPE has great chemical resistance, which means that it can come into contact with many chemicals without breaking down. In addition, its low-temperature flexibility allows it to remain flexible at virtually all temperatures, including extremely low ones that may harden other plastic types.
In addition, like many other plastic types, LDPE is moisture-resistant, so it is a great option when creating waterproof sheeting, such as tarps meant to protect items from the rain, and food packages, such poultry wrapping, that must prevent product moisture evaporation. This polyethylene type is also available in a wide range of thicknesses.
Common Uses for LDPE Sheets
Since LDPE sheets are so flexible and available in such a wide array of thicknesses, their uses are virtually endless. In addition, while some plastic types are opaque, clear LDPE sheets are available that allow for a good view of what an LDPE sheet is protecting.
Very thin LDPE sheets are often used to create food packaging materials, such as food-grade plastic wrap and sandwich bags. LDPE sheets are also used in the construction industry to protect floors, furniture, and other household items from construction debris during a project.
Thicker LDPE sheets are also used to create swimming pool covers and can be used as tarps to protect items stored outdoors, such as motorcycles and children's toys, for short periods of time from the outdoor elements, including the rain.
LDPE sheets are also used in the agricultural industry. Farmers used these sheets to cover crops when inclement weather is in store, to top grain storage bins to keep debris and moisture out of them, and to shield expensive pieces of farm equipment from the outdoor elements when not in use. Many plastic bags, such as the bags grocery and clothing stores provide customers when checking out, are also made of LDPE sheets.
Low-density polyethylene is a commonly used plastic type today for good reason. This, lightweight, flexible material is often used to create LDPE sheets that vary in thickness and are suitable for a wide variety of applications.
To order LDPE sheets, contact a supplier, such as Seiler Plastics, in your area.