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Defining HDPE fabrics

June 1st, 2010 / By: / Resources

We were looking at some shade cloth material and it said it was made from “HDPE.” What does that mean?

HDPE is the abbreviation for High Density Polyethylene. From a chemical standpoint, that means there is less branching that occurs in the molecular composition of the compound, resulting in a higher density. What that translates to in the real world is greater strength with less flexibility and slightly higher chemical resistance than another common type of polyethylene, LDPE (low density polyethylene). In addition to packaging items like plastic bottles, you can also find HDPE in applications such as tarpaulins, fabric structures and geomembranes. HDPE shade fabrics are typically warp knit, the structure giving them more flexibility but maintaining dimensional stability.

Juli Case is IFAI’s information and technical services manager.

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