Polyethylene - high density (HDPE) CAS No: 9002-88-4

Source: Chemical Report

2010/08/05

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is the third largest commodity thermoplastic. A major outlet for HDPE is in blow-moulding applications such as bottles, packaging containers, drums, fuel tanks for automobiles, toys and house wares. Injection-moulded articles made from HDPE include crates, pallets, packaging containers and caps, paint cans, house wares and toys.

Bottles manufactured from HDPE (Source: LyondellBasell)

Global demand has been reasonably strong and growing ahead of GDP in most countries. Future global growth is expected to be around 5%/year. Regions expected to exhibit growth rates above average include Central and Eastern Europe, South America, Asia in particular China, the Middle East and Africa. A large amount of export-oriented HDPE capacity is being commissioned in the Middle East with product not only destined for Asia but also Europe and possibly the US.

HDPE is produced by catalytic polymerisation of ethylene in either slurry (suspension), solution or gas phase reactors. The choice of catalyst and/or the use of bimodal processes are used to modulate the quality of the output.

High density polyethylene is a thermosetting white solid whose molecular chains are comparatively straight and closely aligned. It is resistant to most chemicals, insoluble in organic solvents and has high impact and tensile strength.

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