Low Density Polyethylene

The first of the polyolefins, Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) was originally prepared some fifty years ago by the high pressure polymerization of ethylene. Its comparatively low density arises from the presence of a small amount of branching in the chain (on about 2% of the carbon atoms). This gives a more open structure. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is a most useful and widely used plastic especially in dispensing bottles or wash bottles. It is translucent to opaque, robust enough to be virtually unbreakable and at the same time quite flexible. Chemically LDPE is unreactive at room temperature although it is slowly attacked by strong oxidizing agents and some solvents will cause softening or swelling. It may be used at temperatures up to 95° Celsius for short periods and at 80° Celsius continuously. LDPE is ideally suited for a wide range of molded laboratory apparatus including wash bottles, pipette washing equipment, general purpose tubing, bags and small tanks.

LDPE Quick Facts:
Maximum Temperature: 176°F 80°C 
Minimum Temperature: -58°F -50°C 
Autoclavable: No 
Melting Point: 248°F 120°C 
Tensile Strength: 1700 psi 
Hardness: SD55 
UV Resistance: Poor 
Excellent flexibility 
Specific Gravity: 0.92

LDPE Fabrication:
Weldable and machinable 
Good for parts that require flexibility 
Trays & containers 
Food storage and laboratory 
Corrosion resistant work surfaces 
Very soft and pliable

LDPE Resistance:

Excellent resistance (no attack) to dilute and concentrated Acids, Alcohols, Bases and Esters. Good resistance (minor attack) to Aldehydes, Ketones and Vegetable Oils. Limited resistance (moderate attack suitable for short term use only) to Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Mineral Oils and Oxidizing Agents. Poor resistance and not recommended for use with Halogenated Hydrocarbons.