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  1. #1
    Registered User Angel619392's Avatar
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    Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    I see a problem that I want to fix.

    Problem: HDPE enclosures are more expensive because the material cost alot more than expanded PVC foam board which every cage maker uses if they use PVC

    A simple Question of best plastic to use for cage making that made me realize HDPE is better in every way over PVC

    Contemplation:
    HDPE is a better material than PVC in every way and tolerates higher heat (248 degrees).So I think people who buy pvc cages should instead own a HDPE enclosure

    Solution :
    1. Asks people questions to find out what they want , so they can transition from using pvc to HDPE enclosures..

    2. If the price of an HDPE enclosure was the same or at max $50 more expensive over a pvc enclosure would you buy it?

    3. What would stop you from wanting to buy a HDPE cage over a PVC one?

    4. What features would you want or like from other cage manufacturers?

    Benefits of HDPE over PVC

    1. Stronger , denser material

    2. Higher heat tolerance of (248 degrees F) compared to 148 with PVC, at that point the plastic becomes weaker

    3. Easier to clean , smoother surface that wont let piss and poop stick to the HDPE

    Cons:

    1.Price of material

    ***my opinion is people dont buy HDPE cages because the material costs more so manufacturers have to charge more hence the reason less people buy it*** But if the price is the same or a slightly more expensive price what's the excuse??

    Opinions?? Input ???

    What would completely convince you to buy a hdpe cage over pvc if the prices were the same. Which by the way is what I plan to offer I just want to get feedback to know what to do... (:

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    FYI, my personal preference for my snakes (mostly colubrids) is glass tanks...but in the past, I did try a matched pair of plastic cages, & they were HDPE, not PVC.

    I made that choice primarily for health reasons...all plastic off-gasses toxic stuff when it's heated, & HDPE seemed somewhat safer, though consider that frozen foods
    that are designed to be heated & eaten from HDPE containers ALL say "do not re-heat them", because then they break down to some extent. So how significant the
    difference is long-term, I'm not sure. I will say I think that either PVC or HDPE cages are preferable to using plastic storage containers, since they even reek at room
    temperatures & weren't designed to be heated at all, much less occupied by living creatures.

    FYI- the HDPE enclosures that I had did a little warping on the bottom from the well-regulated UTH, & FYI, some urates still managed to bond with the surfaces. I'd
    still say that HDPE is the better choice of the two, but I really don't care for any plastic cages, so I might be the wrong one to ask. All plastics scratch easily, even from
    paper towels, & those tiny scratches can trap nasty germs. I'll admit tanks take up more room (don't "stack") and they're heavy, but I love that they're inert & smooth,
    I've never broken one (I prefer actual aquariums to the thinner glass used in "terrariums"), & I love the visibility (which is easy enough to modify for privacy, scenery,
    and/or insulation as needed).

    I'm sure I'm in the minority on this issue anyway, lol.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. #3
    Registered User Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    To further complicate things: There are different grades of PVC and HDPE.

    HDPE is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic. I'm told it is harder to work with during fabrication.

    I have PVC cages--they work fine. If you offered me both a PVC and a HDPE enclosure of the same design--I would buy the cheaper one. If I planned on modding it--I would go with the PVC.
    Last edited by Lord Sorril; 01-05-2020 at 08:16 PM.
    *.* TNTC

  4. #4
    BPnet Senior Member Sauzo's Avatar
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    Ive used both and imo, Id go with whatever is the best build quality and thickness of material. I would want at least 1/2 inch thick.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Angel619392's Avatar
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    Re: Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    FYI, my personal preference for my snakes (mostly colubrids) is glass tanks...but in the past, I did try a matched pair of plastic cages, & they were HDPE, not PVC.

    I made that choice primarily for health reasons...all plastic off-gasses toxic stuff when it's heated, & HDPE seemed somewhat safer, though consider that frozen foods
    that are designed to be heated & eaten from HDPE containers ALL say "do not re-heat them", because then they break down to some extent. So how significant the
    difference is long-term, I'm not sure. I will say I think that either PVC or HDPE cages are preferable to using plastic storage containers, since they even reek at room
    temperatures & weren't designed to be heated at all, much less occupied by living creatures.

    FYI- the HDPE enclosures that I had did a little warping on the bottom from the well-regulated UTH, & FYI, some urates still managed to bond with the surfaces. I'd
    still say that HDPE is the better choice of the two, but I really don't care for any plastic cages, so I might be the wrong one to ask. All plastics scratch easily, even from
    paper towels, & those tiny scratches can trap nasty germs. I'll admit tanks take up more room (don't "stack") and they're heavy, but I love that they're inert & smooth,
    I've never broken one (I prefer actual aquariums to the thinner glass used in "terrariums"), & I love the visibility (which is easy enough to modify for privacy, scenery,
    and/or insulation as needed).

    I'm sure I'm in the minority on this issue anyway, lol.
    Hey man thank you for your honesty on the subject. I respect your opinion. The main reason to use plastics for enclosure at least my opinion that I feel speaks for most owners is that they are lightweight and you do not have to worry about rotting wood even if its sealed, the practicality then everything else is extra quality of life things. Again my opinion but again thanks for your opinion.

  6. #6
    Registered User Angel619392's Avatar
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    Re: Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sorril View Post
    To further complicate things: There are different grades of PVC and HDPE.

    HDPE is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic. I'm told it is harder to work with during fabrication.

    I have PVC cages--they work fine. If you offered me both a PVC and a HDPE enclosure of the same design--I would buy the cheaper one. If I planned on modding it--I would go with the PVC.
    To simplify it its really simple every single cage manufacturer for cages use either expanded foam board pvc or CPVC so that makes it easy. I can sum it up like this Foam board pvc is used for signs and outdoor exterior uses. So its good for reptiles because it can handle water without rotting and its easy to work with. And HDPE is harder to work with but if your purchasing a HDPE enclosure the only thing you would be doing is using a electric drill to screw stuff in so no worries there. And for HDPE the only type you need to know about is just stress relieved HDPE anything else is not relevant for our uses since the other HDPE is used for specialized uses.

  7. #7
    Registered User Angel619392's Avatar
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    Re: Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    I set up email notifications but never received them so sorry for the later replies.
    Last edited by Angel619392; 01-06-2020 at 01:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Registered User Angel619392's Avatar
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    Re: Would you get a HDPE enclosure vs a PVC one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sauzo View Post
    Ive used both and imo, Id go with whatever is the best build quality and thickness of material. I would want at least 1/2 inch thick.
    Ok thanks for your input its honestly a common sense question but I like to dive deep into things so I like to see people's responses to these questions. And yeah ed from northwest constrictors from Proline cages used to use 3/8 inch HDPE because that is just how sturdy the material is and I still see those cages going strong. Without bowing and without middle support brace like AP cages. But I have seen some with some slight bowing so there is exceptions to the rule.

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