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Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE)

MDPE is a thermoplastic, further classified as a polyethylene plastic. It has a moderately high heat capacity and a fairly low density among thermoplastics. The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare MDPE to: polyethylene plastics (top), all thermoplastics (middle), and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

0.6 GPa 0.087 x 106 psi

Shear Modulus

0.64 GPa 0.093 x 106 psi

Thermal Properties

Glass Transition Temperature

-80 °C -110 °F

Melting Onset (Solidus)

120 °C 250 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

2350 J/kg-K 0.56 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

0.4 W/m-K 0.23 BTU/h-ft-°F

Other Material Properties


0.93 g/cm3 58 lb/ft3

Dielectric Constant (Relative Permittivity) At 1 Hz


Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

0.36 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

30 points

Thermal Diffusivity

0.18 mm2/s

Followup Questions

Further Reading

ASTM D883: Standard Terminology Relating to Plastics

SPI Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., 5th ed., Michael L. Berins (editor), 2000

Modern Plastics Handbook, Charles A. Harper (editor), 1999

Plastics Materials, 7th ed., J. A. Brydson, 1999