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About Polypropylene



Polypropylene is a polymer substance. That is to say, it is a macro molecule (large molecule) formed by the repetition of one structural unit of propylene. Each of these propylene molecules are bonded with each other by the means of covalent type of chemical bonds. Polypropylene is a type of polymer which gets transformed into liquid polymer on heating while on freezing it turns into a glassy state. A polymer showing these properties is known as a thermoplastic polymer. It was in March 1954, in Spain, that polymerisation of polypropylene was first carried out. Large scale production of polypropylene began in 1957.

Properties of Polypropylene

Polypropylene is linear in structure and its monomer is represented by the formula of CnH2n where n is the number of atoms. It can be obtained from propylene gas with the help of titanium chloride as a catalyst. Polypropylene is also obtained as a by-product of the refining process of oil. Some of the essential properties of polypropylene are as follows:

  • Weight: Polypropylene is a light weight material.
  • Tensile strength: Its tensile strength is high. It shows strong resistance towards stress and cracking.
  • Shape: Polypropylene is crystalline in nature and possess a regular geometrical shape.
  • Insulation: It acts as an excellent insulating substance.
  • Moisture Absorption: Polypropylene does not get affected by moisture as its moisture absorption is very low.
  • Melting Point: Melting point of polypropylene is 160°C. Therefore, unlike other polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene), it is capable of being operational even at a very high temperature.
  • Corrosion: Polypropylene remains unaffected by chemicals like alkaline substances, acids, de-greasing agents, electrolytic attacks, etc. However, its resistance towards aromatic or aliphatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and ultraviolet radiation is not very strong.
  • Other Useful Properties: It is a non poisonous material. It does not get stained very easily. It can be easily fabricated. It can retain its stiffness and flexibility at very high temperatures.

Uses of Polypropylene


The different properties of polypropylene makes it a very popular choice for various applications. Polypropylene is commonly used in a large variety of house-ware products. It is used for making superior quality food containers that can be safely washed in a dishwasher. It can also be used for making food cans and syrup bottles that are used for food packaging of various food contents. Since dyes of various types can be mixed with polypropylene, it is used as fibre for making attractive and highly durable carpets. These carpets can be used near swimming pools or other such areas where it is exposed to a lot of water.


Additional properties of polypropylene include the fact that it does not promote the growth of bacteria on its surface and hence it is used in the manufacture of various medical equipments. Due to the high impact polypropylene properties, it is often used for making ropes for fishing and agriculture applications. In the construction sector, polypropylene is widely used in the manufacture of pumps and different types of pipes. In automotive sector, polypropylene is used in making several different types of auto-parts, including bumpers and battery cases.











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