The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
When it comes to designing manufacturing, you have a lot of choices. One of the most common questions manufacturers get asked is: what’s the difference between HPDE and acrylic? Let’s dive in and figure out the differences between the two.
HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene. It’s a polymer that’s used to create plastic products. Because it’s made from petroleum, it can be recycled quickly and safely.
It has a wide range of uses in manufacturing, but it can be found in everything from milk jugs to protective helmets. It’s lightweight, durable, and available in just about any color you can think of.
When is HDPE Used?
HDPE is typically used for packaging. A frequent material for food service areas is HDPE sheets, and cutting boards and countertops are two examples. A vital factor in a busy commercial kitchen is that it does not dull blades, making it USDA and FDA approved.
What is Acrylic?
The term “acrylic plastic” refers to a group of artificial plastics that contain acrylic acid derivatives. Plexiglas, Lucite, Perspex, and Crystallite are some of the most prevalent acrylic plastics, and Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is the most common acrylic plastic.
What Are the Major Differences?
Acrylic has a glass-like appearance and can be used to make toys or furniture.
Transparency: Acrylic plastic is a transparent thermoplastic often used in sheet form as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. HDPE is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum, and it’s often used in containers like bottles and jugs.
Tensile Strength: Acrylic has a higher tensile strength than HDPE, so it will withstand more force before breaking. This makes acrylic well suited for skylights or windows that need to stand up to heavy weather. In contrast, HDPE can be strong enough for some applications, but it will usually fail at a lower pressure than acrylic.
Weight: HDPE is significantly heavier than acrylic—so if you’re looking to cut down on costs by reducing shipping expenses, you might want to go with acrylic instead.
Cost: HPDE also costs less than acrylic, making it a better option for many people on a budget with their pool construction project. Many people have found that they can save thousands of dollars by choosing an HPDE liner instead of an acrylic one.
Both HPDE and acrylic represent tremendous manufacturing opportunities, but each is better for different applications. Acrylic has advantages for higher-end products, where cost is less of an issue. However, when affordability is a primary concern, your best bet will be with HPDE. In other words, in many cases, it may come down to how much you’re willing to spend on a particular product or application.
About the Author
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.