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Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is a soft and flexible material that is noted for its toughness and corrosion resistance.

It is also highly resistant to impact and moisture. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is harder, offers higher strength and gives a better resistance to heat.

LDPE is used in a wide range of products such as shopping bags, food and drink containers, toys, and electrical wire insulation. HDPE on the other hand is used in applications such as pipes, toys and plastic chairs.

You will more than likely use LDPE every day in many different products.

The polymer chain that makes up LDPE is branched, while the chain in HDPE has a more crystalline structure.

As you can tell from the name, they are both similar due to being created from the same ethylene monomer, but the difference in chemical structure creates a wide variety of unique properties.

This means that products made from HDPE are more likely to crack under stress than those made from LDPE. The other differences are obvious from the different names. LDPE has a lower density, strength and temperature resistance, whereas HDPE is the opposite with a higher density, strength and temperature resistance.