How does HDPE stack up to PP corrugated plastic?

HDPE Resin
DATE: 05.31.2023

How does HDPE stack up to PP corrugated plastic?

How does high density polyethylene (HDPE) corrugated plastic stack up to polypropylene (PP)? If you're considering Wave-Core versus standard PP, both thermoplastics provide a lightweight material that resists chemicals, water and solvents. Because of their versatility, both offer multiple solutions for a range of industries and markets, from packaging to construction to marketing.

HDPE and PP have their advantages. But choosing HDPE corrugated plastic over PP elevates quality and performance simply because it's more durable in demanding applications. With its sheer ruggedness and temperature resilience, HDPE-made products will realize longer lifespans and a higher ROI.

We’ll dive into what makes Wave-Core stronger than PP and show other ways the two corrugated plastic materials compare.


Corrugation is a go-to material design. Its ability to increase the strength and performance of the thermoplastic keeps additional weight to a minimum. But it's important to know how the extrusion process and choice of thermoplastic impact the overall performance and durability of the corrugated plastic.

  • Wave-Core's unique extrusion process lays a strong core of fluted corrugation in each sheet, imbibing it with a lightweight resistance to crushing.

  • HDPE's superior abilities to resist tearing and breaking starts at the molecular level. The tight, dense structure of the polymer offers the material and overall higher tensile strength and impact resistance.

Weather resistance

Both HDPE and PP materials stand up well in the elements. Side by side, HDPE is more resilient in long-term outdoor uses as well as temperature-controlled environments.

HDPE withstands years of UV exposure when designed for the application, making it a superior option for reusable packaging used in outdoor storage and transport, as well as roofing and construction components and outdoor marketing materials.

Both PP and HDPE perform well in hot temperatures. But HDPE comes out ahead with its cold resistance. That makes HDPE the better option for cold-climate applications such as outdoor transport, shipping, protection and construction. HDPE is also better suited for frozen food shipping and warehousing than standard PP.  


For projects and components requiring a perfect fit, Wave-Core™ HDPE corrugated plastic is advantageous because its thickness is well-suited to achieving consistent, repeatable die cuts — rotary or flatbed — that match your strictest tolerance requirements. Why? The extrusion method allows the addition of resins for strength and durability without impacting the height or size of the material.image about the content in the post.

PP can also be fabricated. However, because of its extrusion process, adding resin to raise the strength of the material results in a thicker board, which is more challenging to die cut and fabricate.


HDPE is much better suited than PP for applications where flexibility is crucial. With the ability to enhance its flexibility to your unique needs, HDPE corrugated plastic can flex around almost any circumference or even roll up for compact storage.
Combined with the other properties of HDPE, it’s a unique product that stands up to the impacts of shipping and handling. PP corrugated plastic, on the other hand, can be more rigid. Because of its inability to flex, bending or folding the PP material leaves behind unwanted creases and white crazing marks on boxes or other folded parts. 


Both PP and HDPE are made of 100% recyclable polymers. However, HDPE is a No. 2 plastic, which is more widely accepted by recycling programs compared to PP, which is a No. 5 plastic. When it’s easier and more convenient for the end user to divert the corrugated plastic out of the waste stream, your sustainability initiatives will achieve better long-term success, making HPDE the more eco-friendly choice of plastic corrugate. 


The upfront expense of PP and HDPE can be very similar depending on the market and supply availability. But factor in the properties of HDPE that extend its performance and lifespan — strength, durability and resistance to cold and UV exposure — and HDPE corrugated plastic is the material that delivers the higher ROI. 

Wave-Core: The durable, flexible alternative to polypropylene  

Wave-Core is made entirely of HDPE. As an alternative to polypropylene corrugate, Wave-Core can be stronger, tougher, and longer lasting and stands up to the elements. At Liberty Plastics, our full-service manufacturing facility can readily meet your volume of corrugated plastic. Whether you're ready for a quote or researching your options, we're here to help. Contact us to learn more about durable solutions with Wave-Core.