colander material? HDPE?

I’m looking to make a colander/strainer for residential kitchen us. This will be paired with a cutting board. The goal is to make these out of the same material (we will be CNC milling these out of sheet plastic material). The likely choice for the cutting board is HDPE, but I have one plastic supplier telling me that HDPE will not withstand the temperatures that a colander must withstand (water boils at 212* F). They said it will warp and become brittle over time. The specs for HDPE appear to support this (heat deflection is at about 165* F, the softening point is 257* F) however I don’t know much about what these specifications mean.

I’ve asked around for alternatives, but the food safe (FDA approval) seems to be a big sticking point.

Can any plastics pros out there comment on the use of HDPE for this purpose?

Does anyone know of a good machinable alternative that will function well as a cutting board and a colander?

Any info GREATLY appreciated!



That’s what I thought (polypro), but my plastics suppliers are telling me they have similar temperature tolerances and wouldn’t be all that different.

I have another supplier telling me HDPE should hold up fine since the boiling water contacting the colander cools down from pan to colander and doesn’t stay in the colander for long. If the users are only using it once a day on average, they’re saying wear and damage shouldn’t be a concern.

Should I believe them?

PP will give you a better surface finish and there are some blends that will hold up to the heat of boiling water better than HDPE. Go with the PP.

Go look for the recycling symbols on existing colanders on the market. Don’t reinvent the wheel…

No. Your vendor is misinformed. I would consider finding a new one.

PP can be steam sterilized. PE, low or high density, cannot.

Whenever I hear polypropylene I think Tegris…

70% strength of carbon fiber, 10% the cost… cool.