HDPE Membrane: Why Use It For Commercial Structures

Searching for an all-weather, year-round material for your next commercial shade structure? 

Something cost-effective and low-maintenance, retaining both strength and vibrancy through the years? Consider HDPE membrane – this could be the material you are searching for. 

High density polyethylene (HDPE) membrane is a durable waterproof shade solution that can withstand a variety of climates. From heavy rainfall to scorching heat, HDPE membrane is an investment that is sure to last for years to come.

Read on to learn all about this multi-purpose material and its many advantages. With its adaptability to various shade structures and minimised environmental footprint, HDPE makes an excellent shade solution for your commercial needs. 


What is HDPE membrane?

HDPE membrane is a woven mesh fabric created from thermoplastic polymer. Known for its durability and versatility, HDPE boasts a diverse range of applications from construction and transport to outdoor commercial shade.

Notably, HDPE membranes grant commercial structures several benefits including:

  • Resistance to high impact, tearing and abrasion
  • Excellent strength-to-density ratio
  • Waterproofing
  • UV protection
  • Impermeability against water, liquids, gases
  • High resistance to moisture and chemicals
  • Range of flexibility 
  • Low-maintenance
  • Cost-effectiveness

Its ability to withstand various weather conditions makes HDPE membranes an excellent solution for outdoor commercial spaces through rain, hail or shine.

Additionally, HDPE is easily customisable and suits commercial structures of any shape and size. Its long service life and non-fading vibrancy create structures that are not only weather-resistant but visually pleasing for many years ahead.

What are the benefits of HDPE Membranes?

HDPE membranes are a multi-purpose, year-round outdoor shade solution made from high-density polyethylene. This strong, sturdy plastic forms an impermeable barrier against water, liquids and gases.

Additionally, HDPE is resistant to moisture, UV radiation and chemicals making it an excellent choice for various outdoor areas that are constantly exposed to rain and shine.

Waterproofing and moisture control

HDPE membranes provide a highly effective barrier against water and liquids in general, making it a fantastic waterproof outdoor shade solution. It is also an excellent form of moisture control, with HDPE liners often used inside commercial and industrial spaces to prevent mildew, moulding and rot.

Its waterproofing properties are just as effective outdoors, protecting commercial areas such as cafe courtyards and retail car parking against rain and wet weather conditions.

Durability and chemical resistance

HDPE provides high tensile strength and tear resistance. Additionally, its ability to resist chemical exposure, UV radiation and environmental factors makes HDPE membranes an extremely durable solution for outdoor commercial structures.

HDPE can also withstand significant levels of liquid and gaseous pressures, creating long-lasting cover for a wide spectrum of climates and commercial purposes.


For long-lasting quality, HDPE membranes are a great choice for a variety of commercial structures. Resistant to tears, abrasion and general damage, this resilient fabric can last up to 15 years or even longer with careful maintenance.

Ease of installation and maintenance

HDPE is a reliable fabric shade solution that is quick and easy to install, which helps keep construction and installation costs down. Pre-applied HDPE membranes with pressure-sensitive adhesive layers are particularly time-efficient to put into place. They are extremely versatile and can be custom-fitted into the size and shape that best suits your commercial space.

With HDPE membrane cleaning and maintenance is simple and hassle-free, leaving you with more time to invest in your business.


The durability and long service life make HDPE membranes a high-quality, cost-effective solution for outdoor commercial structures.

Additionally, HDPE offers both quick installation and low maintenance effort. This helps keep set-up, maintenance and repair costs down, ensuring that you can provide customers with an excellent outdoor experience within budget.

What structures can you apply HDPE membrane to?

A HDPE membrane is highly suitable for outdoor commercial structures that must withstand a variety of weather conditions for years to come. 

Through rain, hail, wind, dust and shine, HDPE fabric structures can supply your business with year-round protection. 

Large commercial projects such as retail car parks and sporting facilities will particularly benefit from the economic value of HDPE, especially compared to composite fabrics. 

HDPE also offers high levels of UV ray protection and a wide variety of colours, making it an easily customisable, highly aesthetic option for all your outdoor shade needs. 

basket ball court cover

Commercial Sports Shade Sail Structures

From community aquatic centres to bowling club greens, outdoor shade is crucial for protecting competitors and spectators against sunburn during exercise. 

Shade sails or star structures made of HDPE mesh fabric offer excellent UV protection for sporting events and training facilities.

Retail Space Structures

Create an aesthetic, all-weather shade solution for your customers with HDPE membranes. Large commercial spaces such as retail car parks and long walkways can benefit from the UV-blocking properties that HDPE provides.

The wide range of available colours allows freedom for customisation, so you can offer customers protection from the elements without sacrificing visual appeal. 

Impacts on blocking UV Rays

Overall, HDPE fabric provides exceptionally high levels of UV ray blocking. However, did you know that your fabric colour affects the percentage of UV-ray protection? 

Check the following table for further information on what colours offer the most protection against the harsh Australian sun. 

Colour %UVR
Deep Ochre Brown 94.9%
Black  94.3%
Desert Sand 92.9%
Dark Green 92.4%
Red 91.3%
Aquatic Blue 91.1%
Navy 90.7%
Charcoal Grey 90.4%
White 90.3%
Emerald Green 90.2%
Steel Grey 90.1%

Table used only as a guide. %UVR based on values of Gale Pacific Commercial Heavy 430 colour swatches. 

Refer to Colour for other available HDPE brands/colours. 

Characteristics of a HDPE membrane

From high tensile strength to outstanding flexibility, HDPE membranes offer versatile characteristics that meet many of your outdoor shade needs.

Unlike LDPE (low density polyethylene) fabrics, HDPE is highly resistant to abrasion and tearing.

In addition, its durability and resistance to colour fading ensure that your commercial structure can retain its vibrancy for decades.

HDPE boasts excellent year-round, all-weather performance with its impermeability, moisture resistance and high UV protection. 

Come rain, hail or shine, your customers can enjoy your facilities in comfort and safety against the elements.

Lightweight, low maintenance and simple to install, HDPE membranes are extremely cost-beneficial while maintaining long-lasting quality.

Monofilament yarns

HDPE membranes are made from strong, woven monofilament yarns. These yarns are created by melt spinning, a process that involves extruding molten thermoplastic polymers (like polyethylene). 

A spinneret is then used to draw these out into long single filaments, which strengthens and lengthens the yarn.

This process makes HDPE less flexible, but much stronger, than natural spun yarn like cotton or wool. 

Once woven, the yarn creates a resilient mesh fabric that can withstand various weather conditions and other environmental stresses. 

Environmental impacts of HDPE membranes

HDPE membranes are a high-performing, durable investment with a disposal process that boasts a lower environmental footprint than other materials that may require frequent replacement. 

With proper care and maintenance, HDPE structures can last for at least 15 years or more. This reduces the need for raw material consumption and energy used for initial production.

Since HDPE is made from thermoplastic material, these membranes can be reused and recycled once they reach the end of their long service life. 

This reduces its overall impact on the environment, making HDPE material a great option for commercial use.

Huxley Wallace | Project Consultant

How to know if HDPE membrane is right for your commercial structure

Looking for a practical, visually pleasing membrane that matches your commercial structure for years to come? 

Chat with Greenline, the shade solution specialists, to discuss your needs and determine whether HDPE membrane is right for your fabric structure installation project. 

From sporting events to everyday retail spaces, Greenline’s expertise in shade solution design can guide you through the entire process of your next commercial build. 

Greenline primarily uses  HDPE fabric in our range of fabric structures including Lawn Bowl Roofing, Commercial Sports Court Shade Sails and Shade Structures. 

Additionally, our 20+ years of experience means that we can work together to create a customised solution to suit your specific shade goals. 

Contact us today to arrange your initial consultation and learn how HDPE membrane can take your commercial structures to the next level. 

Build Your Fabric Structure Today

Frequently asked questions

What are the disadvantages of HDPE membrane?

Disadvantages of HDPE membrane include high thermal expansion and sensitivity to stress cracking. Its weight can increase shipping costs and make installation more difficult. 

Can HDPE withstand rain?

Yes, HDPE can withstand rain and wet-weather conditions. It is an excellent waterproof and anti-seepage solution for any outdoor shade project. 

How thick is a HDPE waterproofing membrane?

A HDPE waterproofing membrane can range from 0.5mm to 3.0mm in thickness.

Find out more about other commercial fabrics