Polypropylene (PP) Plastic – Characteristics, Types & Uses
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used and produced plastics in the world today. It’s been around for over 60 years and blew up in popularity almost immediately. Made from multiple propylene monomers, polypropylene is a thermoplastic addition polymer.
Polypropylene is used the most by the packaging, electrical equipment, household appliances, and automotive industries. However, plenty of other industries across the world use polypropylene in one way or another.
Characteristics of Polypropylene
Here are some of the properties that make polypropylene so useful to so many industries:
- Insulation – Polypropylene is perfect for insulation in electrical applications, as it has a high resistance to electricity and light weight.
- Resistance to Chemicals – Polypropylene doesn’t react with diluted acids and bases, so it can be used as a container for things like cleaning solutions and more.
- Shape Retention – Polypropylene has a high fatigue resistance. It can withstand a lot of bending and flexing without losing its shape or breaking.
- Toughness & Elasticity – According to the engineering definition of toughness, polypropylene is a tough material. This is because it can deform without breaking early in the deformation process. Its toughness aids its elasticity.
- Moderate Transmissivity – Polypropylene is generally produced with an opaque appearance. However, if your application needs the transmission of light, polypropylene can be produced as a transparent material.
Another useful characteristic of polypropylene is its classification as a thermoplastic. This means that polypropylene can be heated to its melting point where it will liquify, then cooled into a solid again without serious degradation. This characteristic allows for easily recycling and reuse of polypropylene.
Types of Polypropylene
Polypropylene is a highly adaptive material and can be manufactured in different ways which will produce different types, each of which have their advantages in certain applications. There are two main types of polypropylene.
Homopolymer polypropylene is the basic type of polypropylene. It’s essentially the default type of polypropylene.
Copolymer polypropylene is polypropylene that was manufactured with additives, so it is made up of co-monomer units. How these units are arranged determines the type of copolymer polypropylene it is:
- Block Copolymer Polypropylene – Co-monomer units are arranged in blocks of a regular pattern
- Random Copolymer Polypropylene – Co-monomer units are arranged in random or irregular patterns.
Plastic Service Centers | Polypropylene resins & more
If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile plastic, look no further than polypropylene. Often called the ‘steel’ of plastics, polypropylene can be altered in a variety of ways to fit a wide range of applications. Plastic Service Centers is ready to supply you with as much polypropylene as you need. We have millions of pounds of inventory ready to be shipped anywhere in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our strategically placed warehouses allow us to ship to any of these locations quickly, so you can get the supplies you need to make your products on time at a high volume.