Is HDPE Sheet and Acetal Sheet (Delrin) the same?

Here is another popular question asked by our clients. Is HDPE the same as Acetal / Delrin?
No, they are two totally different materials. Although the natural color of both is a milky white to opaque white, and they do look a bit similar, they are not. (HDPE is milky white to almost translucent depending on thickness, and Acetal is a more opaque white to slightly milky – once again depending on thickness . See picture below of .500″ thick samples of HDPE and Acetal sheets)

HDPE and Acetal – Some DifferencesHDPE sheet and Acetal sheet Natural Color Samples Both .500" thick sheet

The HDPE sheet and rod is a softer material, and is commonly known for its FDA certification and used in numerous food applications, such as: one gallon milk jugs, cutting boards, colored water glasses/cups, and many, many more. While it can be machined, because it is a bit softer and lighter, the tolerances it can be machined to are not very tight. It is not bondable, so it makes a great non-stick surface for sticky foods and adhesives.

The Acetal / Delrin also have FDA certification, and are used heavily in the food processing industry. This material is a more mechanical material and is used in bearing and wear applications, cams, feeder screws, etc. This material is can be machined to tight tolerances, and will wear for long periods without lubrication. Due to its exceptional wear properties, it is not bondable, thus requiring mechanical fastening or threads to assemble. It has a very low water absorption, and you will find it in your toilet tank as the white moving parts in the filler mechanism. It is an extremely popular material for machinists, as it works much like soft brass.

While HDPE Sheet and Acetal Sheet look similar, they perform quite a bit differently.

While both materials are FDA approved, are machinable and can be used to make rigid wear resistant parts, they are two different resins and have drastically different physical properties. Another major difference is in the weight of these items, HDPE sheet and rod material weighs about 35% less than the Acetal sheet and rod material. Please check the data sheets for more information to assist in proper material selection. Acetal Data Sheet and HDPE Sheet Data

Acetal is commonly known as: Delrin, Ensital, Unital, Pomalux, Ultraform and many more.

HDPE is also known as: Ultraethylux, Densetec, Polystone G, Fortiflex, Versadur, Hostalen, and many more.

Contact us for more details on the HDPE and Acetal families of plastic materials, e-mail us or call 866-832-9315
Topic: HDPE sheet and Delrin Sheet (Acetal Sheet)

FDA – NSF Approved Cutting Boards

HDPE and UHMW Polyethylene Sheets

Next time you are cutting vegetables on your cutting board, the material most likely to be used is Polyethylene. Because it is stain, moisture and odor resistant, Polyethylene is a perfect choice. Other cutting boards made out of wood are more susceptible to bacteria and odors because they lack the properties that Polyethylene sheets offer, such as its chemical resistance and FDA approval for food Colored HDPE Cutting Boards NSF approvedcontact. Polyethylene is a very durable and lightweight material that comes in many forms and is a great for a wide variety of applications.

NSF Approved Cutting Boards

The HDPE is available in .500″ thick in several FDA / NSF approved colors, and is great for use in kitchens where cross contamination is a problem. 

The Ultimate Cutting Board

Polyethylene has many names. The most common are HDPE, LDPE, and UHMW. The difference has to with the molecular weight and branching which is when a monomer or atom is replaced by a longer chain of polymers (a long repeating chain of atoms). High Density is commonly used for milk jugs and food containers. Low Density is commonly used for bottles and plastic bags. UHMW, which has higher molecular weight (2-6 million) allows for an even transfer over the length of material which makes it stronger and able to be used for bearing applications due to its great wear resistance. Commonly used in the food and dairy industry, UHMW is a great replacement for other materials and solution to many problems. All of these polymers are derived from the same family but all have certain properties that make them a little different. HDPE provides great chemical resistance, with high impact strength and great energy absorption. LDPE has most of the same properties as High Density but is not as dense at 9.15, opposed to HDPE which is 9.34. It also has a lower tensile strength and easier formability.

UHMW is a strong material that has great durability and low co-efficient making it an ideal for sliding FDA and NSF approved UHMW machined sproketapplications. Polyethylene offers a wide range of material choices and properties and has great durability that can be suitable for a number of applications. From the food industry to automotive, the kitchen or the warehouse, whatever your Polyethylene needs are; High Density, Low Density or UHMW, Polyethylene is a great choice.

Typical Resin Properties:

General Property ASTM Test Typical Value HDPE Typical Value LDPE Typical Value UHMW
Specific Gravity D792 .941 – .965 .91 – .925 .93 – .94
Tensile Strength Yield D638 3,800 – 5,500 1,400 – 2,000 6,800
Izod Impact – Notched D256 2.0 – 3.5 >16 No Break
Vicat Softening Temp D1525 257ºF 219ºF 260
Hardness – Rockwell D785 D60 -70 D42 – 50 R64
Continuous Use Temp -100 – 180ºF 174ºF 180ºF
Deflection Temp @ 66 psi D648 171   124 174
Co. Thermal Expansion D696 7X10-5 4.6 -5.5X10-5 11.0X10-5

Please contact us for more information on FDA and NSF approved plastic materials. Email us here, or call us at: 866-832-9315

Google+ – Hayden Hess

Topic: HDPE Cutting Boards – NSF Approved