Difference Between HDPE and PVC

HDPE is manufactured from the ethylene monomer. When used in pipes, it is also known as alkathene and polythene. It has a high strength to density ratio.

PVC is a synthetic, plastic, thermoplastic polymer. Every year over 40 million tons of PVC is manufactured. They are used in pipes and the construction of doors and windows. Food covering sheets is a major application of this PVC.

Comparison Table Between HDPE and PVC

Parameters of Comparison
DefinitionHigh-density polyethylene (HDPE) is semi-crystalline and expensive.       Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is inexpensive, affordable, and is amorphous. 
SurgesHigh-density polyethylene (HDPE)has the capacity to dampen and also absorb the waves to prevent the system from being affected by reducing the surges.  Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) does not reduce surges.
Areas of Applications High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is best suited to be employed in lower pressure areas.Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is best suited in trenchless regions and also in burial areas.
PropertiesHigh-density polyethylene(HPDE) is resistant to heat and abrasion.   PVC is best known for its high durability and sturdiness.
UsageHigh-density polyethylene (HPDE) is the most popularly used plastic for commercial purposes.PVC is ranked three among the popularly used types of plastics.

What is HDPE?

HPDE is made out of petroleum and is a thermoplastic polymer. It is one of the versatile plastic materials. It is used for a lot of a wide variety of applications.

It is also used in medical applications like plastic surgeries, especially for facial surgeries and those related to skeletal reconstruction. It is also used in show boards and 3-D printing applications.

It has a texture that gives a better grip on products made out of HDPE. It is also present in food-grade quality. The products are made out of it ensure low maintenance, safe and long-lasting.

What is PVC?

PVC is a thermoplastic polymer widely used to manufacture good quality pipes and also is used in the field of medicine. It is also used in medical devices and in cable insulation.

It has the excellent properties of durability, less expensive cost, easy to process, and all these have to lead to the PVC is used as a replacement component in building materials, construction applications, and it is also used instead of wood, concrete, ceramics, rubber and sometimes even used instead of metals.

PVC is found in many forms. Some of them are plasticized or flexible PVC, rigid or unplasticized PVC, chlorinated PVC, modified PVC, and lastly, molecularly oriented PVC.

Some of the merits of these PVCs are that high stiffness, flame retardant properties, better chemical resistance, dimensional stability, and insulation properties.

Main Differences Between HDPE and PVC

  1. HPDE can reduce surges, whereas PVC does not, and it leads to damage to the system.
  2. HPDE has most of its applications in areas with low pressure, while PVC is suited for burial areas and also regions that lack trenches.
Difference Between HDPE and PVC


Both types of plastics are strong and best known for their excellent durability. They differ in their strength and properties, and so differs their pressure capacity.

Though both are used in the manufacture of fireworks, HPDE is considerably a safer option as it can propel and launch the fireworks to a safe distance.

Both the plastics have chances of exploding inside the container with the same force. Based on the area of application, the types of plastics should be chosen carefully.


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ed051p541
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0008622303003877
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