High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Definition - What does High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) mean?

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is an extremely versatile plastic which offers a wide variety of benefits. It is one of the most commonly used plastics in the United States, found in everything from milk containers to shopping carts. HDPE is the material of choice for trenchless construction as It’s resistant to mold, mildew, rotting and insects which makes it a great material for underground pipes.

Trenchlesspedia explains High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Developed in the 1930s in the United Kingdom, high density polyethylene gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1950s. It is lightweight, super strong and can easily be molded into any shape. Resistant to chemicals, HDPE is used for the packaging of detergents, cleaners, industrial chemicals, antifreeze and bleach. It is labeled as #2 plastic. High density polyethylene takes on a new life as recycled plastic furniture as well as a host of other recycled products.


The properties of HDPE make it an excellent material for piping. The Plastic Pipe Institute calls HDPE “a cost effective solution for a broad range of piping problems in municipal, industrial, marine, mining, landfill, duct and agricultural applications.” HDPE has a history of use in the oil and gas industry and has a low repair frequency. It is long lasting and weather resistant, and doesn’t leak toxic chemicals into the soil or water.

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