Last edited 15 Apr 2019

Polypropylene

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Polypropylene (PP, also known as polypropene or polymerised propene) is a type of thermoplastic polymer resin that has similar qualities to polyethylene (PE) but is slightly harder and has better resistance to heat and organic solvents. After PE, polypropylene is the second-most widely produced commodity plastic with a global market (2013) of around 55 million tonnes.

A member of the polyolefin family of resins, PP can be injection moulded and extruded into many shapes and products such as cups, cutlery, containers, housewares and car parts e.g batteries. It is also spun into fibres for inclusion in industrial and domestic textiles, including for clothing.

As a plastic it is extremely versatile and found in common household items and used in both commercial and industrial applications.

[edit] Properties

  • Lightweight, tough and flexible
  • Heat resistant (high melting point (around 160°C) – used in microwaves, dishwashers, food containers
  • Chemically inert
  • Impact and freeze-resistant
  • High shatter resistance
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Mould resistant
  • Low density allows lower-weight mouldings to be made
  • Resistant to fats and organic solvents
  • Accepts colour and dye without degrading
  • Reasonably inexpensive
  • Does not contain BPA (bisphenol A - which some claim can leach into food products)
  • Fatigue resistance – allows use as a plastic hinge
  • It can float in water

[edit] Typical applications

It has a large number of end-use applications in the construction industry due to the wide range of grades available and the use of additives to modify properties:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki