Aluminium vs HDPE in temporary walkways
Date published: 18 Jan 2024
Holly Chipchase

Aluminium vs HDPE in temporary walkways

We offer three types of mats for hire, Aluminium DTH mats, TuffTrak and HDPE temporary walkways. We specialise in aluminium temporary walkways, also known as track mats. These mats are predominantly used in construction and engineering to provide access and ground protection and many other industries to supply temporary access roads and temporary walkways. Our HDPE mats and TuffTrack are both made of High-Density Polyethylene and are another popular option for temporary access roads and ground protection. Both materials have many pros and cons, and different uses.  

Aluminium temporary walkways

Pros  Cons 
Lightweight  Costly  
Chemical resistant  Conductive  
Durable Scratchable  
Non-Toxic Limited load capacity  
Great Traction  Susceptible to damage 
Reusable and recyclable   

Pros of aluminium temporary walkways

The most lightweight option of temporary walkways

Aluminium mats are lightweight, making them easier to handle, transport and install than other materials such as steel or timber.  

Chemical resistant 

Aluminium is naturally corrosion-resistant, which makes these mats suitable for use in various environmental conditions, especially in wet or marine environments. They are also fantastic for use in boggy environments, which aren’t uncommon on UK building sites.  


Aluminium is super durable, and when looked after properly aluminium ground mats can withstand heavy loads and frequent use. They can be power washed cleaned and stored after most projects and are ready for use again straight away.  


Aluminium is non-toxic, making it incredibly environmentally friendly compared to some other materials that may contain harmful chemicals and substances, it’s also almost endlessly recyclable and can be melted down and reused repeatedly.  

High traction 

Our aluminium track mats have non-slip surfaces, and underside, offering good traction for vehicles and pedestrians despite wet or slippery conditions. The anti-trip and slip surfaces mean maximum safety for users.  


Aluminium is a highly recyclable material, contributing to sustainability efforts. In fact, 75% of aluminium ever produced is still in use, as the lifecycle is almost endless. At the end of the temporary walkway mats life cycle, they can be recycled to reduce negative environmental impact.

Cons of aluminium temporary walkways


Aluminium mats can be more expensive than some other temporary walkway options, coming in at up to £1000 a mat in some cases, but they are long-lasting and can be used repeatedly. They are a worthwhile investment.  


Aluminium is a conductor of electricity, which means that in situations where electrical conductivity is a concern, such as areas with power lines, aluminium mats may not be the best choice.  


Although durable, aluminium can be prone to scratching. This may affect the aesthetics of the mats over time, but it usually doesn’t impact their functionality.  

Limited load capacity 

While aluminium mats are strong and durable, they sometimes have a lower load capacity compared to materials like steel, because they’re a softer metal. This limitation may affect their suitability for certain heavy-duty applications. 

Susceptibility to damage 

While aluminium is resistant to corrosion, it may still be susceptible to damage from sharp or heavy objects. Proper care and maintenance are both essential to keep the lifespan of these mats.  

HDPE temporary walkways

Organised light duty temporary walkway mats
Organised light duty ground protection mats
Pros  Cons 
Lightweight  Lower Temperature Resistance 
Chemical resistant  Electrical Insulated 
Noncorrosive  UV Sensitivity 
Electrical insulation  Costly 
Environmentally friendly   
Impact resistant   

Pros of HDPE temporary walkways


HDPE mats are relatively lightweight, making them easy to handle, transport, and install. A huge advantage for quick and efficient deployment on job sites.  

Chemical resistance 

HDPE is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, meaning mats are suitable for use in areas where there will be exposure to chemicals.  


Unlike aluminium, HDPE isn’t susceptible to corrosion, rust, or decay, making it a durable option for long-term use. It can be used in wet, and icy environments and left in situ for extended periods.  

Electrical insulation 

HDPE is an insulating material for electrics. This can be an important consideration in areas where electrical conductivity is a concern, such as power stations or near powerlines.  


HDPE mats can be used in various applications, including construction, landscaping, events, and utilities. They are adaptable to lots of different terrains and can even be used in environmentally sensitive areas.  

Environmentally friendly 

HDPE is a recyclable material, contributing to sustainability efforts. After their use, these mats can be recycled, reducing the environmental impact of the project.  

Impact resistant  

HDPE has a high impact resistance, making these mats capable of withstanding heavy loads and harsh conditions.  

Cons of HDPE temporary walkways

Lower temperature resistance  

HDPE can become brittle in extremely cold temperatures, potentially affecting its impact resistance. However, this isn’t a significant issue in many climates.  

Limited load capacity  

While HDPE mats are durable, they sometimes have a lower load capacity compared to some other materials, like steel or composite mats.  

UV sensitivity  

Some types of HDPE can be sensitive to prolonged exposure to UV rays, which may cause the material to degrade over time. Most HDPE mats are treated to resist UV damage.  

Costly compared to alternative temporary walkways

Depending on the type and thickness of HDPE mats, they can be costly compared to some alternatives. This of course increases the overall project budget.

Understanding the correct temporary walkway for your job…

In short, it’s important to assess the requirements of your projects, as well as environmental conditions and budget constraints to decide whether aluminium or HDPE temporary walkways are the most suitable choice for your specific needs. Our friendly team are always happy to help you make your choice, contact us here.  

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Alternatively contact us on 01698 352751 for an immediate response.