What is the difference between HDPE and uPVC pipe

Update:16 Jun 2020

HDPE pipe and UPVC pipe differ in their base manufacturing material; their full pipe rigidity, modulus of flexibility; their fabricated storage lengths and diameter sizes; their plumbing system joining methods; their compatibility resistance to chemicals and solutions, and; their mechanical, tensile strength. The following overviews these two pipes’ differences:

1.Pipe Manufacturing Material

(1).HDPE Pipe — High Density Polyethylene —Thermoplastic Polymer

(2).uPVC Pipe — Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (meaning plasticizing polymers added to make more flexible PVC pipe have not been added during manufacture) — Thermoplastic Polymer


(1).HDPE Pipe — Extremely flexible

(2).uPVC Pipe — Very stiff, bendable but rigid

3.Length / Storage

(1).HDPE Pipe — Potentially available in great lengths — Can be coiled

(2).UPVC Pipe — Lengths are restricted to transport limitations and application requirements — Stacked straight by full length


(1).HDPE Pipe — Can be molded to potentially very wide pipe diameters

(2).UPVC Pipe — Limited to standard pipe diameters that max out around 24″ inches

5.Pipe Joining / Joints

(1).HDPE Pipe — Require to be heat fused together to create a single piece

(2).UPVC Pipe — Require a cement or other gluing compound to join pipe

6.Chemical Compatibility

(1).HDPE — Is compatible with many common industry chemicals

(2).UPVC — Is compatible with many common industry chemicals

(3).Both — If unsure of chemical compatibility, always research and verify. The full list of potential sensitive chemicals and scenarios is too long to succinctly include here.

7.Mechanical Strength


1.Some consider HDPE to be mechanically stronger and more durable than uPVC pipe

2.Some characteristics such as tensile strength and stiffness increase with HDPE crystalline content and density


1.UPVC is very rigid and retains a tensile strength (7500 psi) and max working pressure (450 psi) that is very effective for uPVC’s applications


These values of strength resistance and pressure shift with temperature due to the nature of thermoplastics

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