A material that’s been gaining popularity in recent years is HDPE, or high-density polyethylene. HDPE is becoming more and more ubiquitous for a number of reasons, including its low environmental impact and its high degree of durability. As you might guess, these qualities make it especially well-suited to outdoor furniture, and we at Patio Furniture Industries are proud to offer a number of HDPE options. To help you understand the benefits of this fairly new material, we’ve prepared this brief overview.
HDPE is made of plastic–specifically, from post-consumer plastic waste. Plastic waste, including drink bottles, containers for household products, and other items, is first collected and cleaned. The cleaning or decontamination process removes any lingering food waste, paper, or adhesives. Then, the plastic is melted down and combined with pigments and other additives to give the finished material color and structure. The finished HDPE contains over 90% post-consumer plastic by weight and forms a rigid stock material that is then cut into standard lumber dimensions. HDPE lumber can be used for many applications that traditionally use wood, including furniture.
For outdoor furniture in particular, HDPE lumber is a great choice because it offers the same clean lines as traditional wood but does not share wood’s vulnerabilities to water, insects, or mold. HDPE absorbs no moisture, and thus will never rot, grow mold or mildew, or warp its shape. Poly furniture, as furniture made from HDPE is also called, is also impervious to insect damage, which makes it an especially good choice for areas prone to termites. Unlike wood, HDPE never needs to be sealed or re-sealed, and its color will never fade in the sun. If you want outdoor furniture that will last for years to come, HDPE is an excellent choice.