Polyethylene is the most commonly used plastic material in the world today. It is lightweight, durable, solvent-resistant and highly recyclable. It is quite versatile and is often used in everyday objects like toys, food packaging, liquid bottles, and grocery bags.
As composite pavers, these plastics are used on roads, pathways, gardens and patios to keep the ground firm and stable. They are considered as an eco-friendly solution for construction since they are derived from recycled materials that otherwise would have ended up in landfills.
Recycled plastic pavers are beneficial in distributing pressure and avoiding compression of the underlying soil. Recycled pavers can also prevent excessive stormwater run-off that may result in harmful algal blooms.
Composite pavers offer a lot of advantages. It is a flexible material which gives it the ability to handle heavy loads. Its water-repelling characteristics make it ideal as an effective water barrier. It is also lightweight making transport more economical and easier to handle.When it comes to plastics-based pavement solutions, there are two types currently used in the market, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). We take a deeper look into LDPE vs HDPE as a suitable paving solution.
Difference Between HDPE and LDPE in Plastic Pavement Systems
HDPE is the most commonly used plastic paver material. It is derived from petroleum which makes it readily available, cheaper to produce and is easy to mold. Its high tensile strength results in a rigid material that makes it vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
LDPE is a compound made from monomer ethylene. Producing this thermoplastic is more complex, more expensive and is harder to find. It is more flexible than HDPE and is better suited to withstand extreme temperatures as well as lateral and rotational forces.
Flexibility and Weight Bearing Capacity
When choosing between high density vs low density polyethylene pavers in terms of weight bearing capacity, HDPE comes out on top. However, LDPE is more capable of handling heavy loads from daily vehicular traffic because of its unique combination of tensile and compressive strength, particularly on uneven ground.
Construction companies and the military, for example, use trucks that haul very heavy cargo which can place immense non-compression loads on the paving grid. LDPE can accommodate these heavy loads because it can flex under the weight, unlike HDPE which is rigid and more likely to crack.
Resistance to Extreme Temperatures
Although both HDPE and LDPE pavers are capable of withstanding seasonal changes, only LDPE can stand up to extreme weather conditions.
The transition from freezing temperatures to warmer conditions, called the freeze-thaw cycle, can cause a lot of stress on the pavement. HDPE pavers can become brittle under severe winter temperatures because of its rigid construction and fracture more easily. Extremely high temperatures can also produce the same results.
LDPE is the Superior Choice
LDPE offers the flexibility and durability you would expect from top quality plastic pavers. Ecoraster is the world’s leading producer of flexible, porous paving systems using LDPE. Our products are certified by NATO for use in their ground operations. We also provide a 20-year warranty on our products as a testament to its durability. We are an environmentally responsible company and we are committed to LDPE recycling.