POLYPROPYLENE GUIDE - Part I - Prepared by S.

Typical Applications

Structural tanks and covers Ducts and hoods • Tank linings • Vacuum formed trays • Plating barrels and tanks • Orthopedic devices dishwasher-safe food containers

Molecular formula

Resin identification code



Chemical name Chemical formula Monomer Density

Poly(1-methylethylene) (C3H6)x Propylene (Propane)

(Atactic) Amorphous: 0.85 g/cm3 (Isotactic) Crystalline: 0.95 g/cm3 Melting point 173 °C (Isotactic) Degradation point 286 °C Glass transition temperature -17 °C

automotive components. laboratory equipment. and etc. textiles.1. It is a member of the Polyolefin family of pure hydrocarbon plastics. This is an addition polymer made from the monomer propylene Fig. Polypropylene is one of those rather versatile polymers. including food packaging. used in a wide variety of applications. loudspeakers. Molecular formula of PP .Introduction: Polypropylene or polypropene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer. popularly known by the abbreviation PP.

It is also injection-molded into many products. salts.This highly crystalline thermoplastic resin is built up by the chain-growth polymerization of propylene (CH2=CHCH3) monomer. such as appliance housings. polypropylene is blow-molded into bottles for foods. and outdoor furniture. but it is stiffer. As a plastic. and is slightly more oxidation-sensitive What a designer should know about PP ? 1) Polypropylene is a translucent material. all the methyl [CH3] groups are arranged along the same side of the polymer chain. like the carpet one finds around swimming pools. Polypropylene shares some of the properties of polyethylene. alkalis. In fiber form. This fatigue resistance has led to the design of polypropylene boxes and other containers with self-hinged covers. For outdoor carpet. Polypropylene is also very easy to add dyes to. As a result. Where do we use PP? Although PP has almost half the strength of PVC (with a design stress of 70Kg/cm2 or 1000 psi at 22 deg C / 73 deg F). The melting point of polypropylene is high compared to many other plastics. solvents. . it is easy to make colored polypropylene. which means that the hot water used when washing dishes will not cause polypropylene dishware to warp.) It is produced at low temperatures and pressures using Ziegler-Natta catalysts. it is a material of choice for industrial chemicals like concentrated acetic acid. automobile battery casings. polypropylene is used to make indoor-outdoor carpeting.Only the isotactic form of polypropylene is marketed in significant quantities.. We need to consider the fact that there are no known solvents for PP. at 320°F (160°C). and other household liquids. Polypropylene is often used for food containers. and doesn't absorb water. It serves both as a plastic and as a fiber. has a higher melting temperature. a molecular structure is formed that is capable of withstanding much additional flexing without failing. which is also often used as a fiber for rugged carpeting. sulphuric. 3) PP is inert and porous. hydroxides etc. which needs to be rugged and durable. particularly in dishwasher safe containers. used around swimming pools and mini golf courses. However with strong oxidizers like hypochlorites. polypropylene doesn't soak up water. (In isotactic polypropylene. toys. shampoos. nitric and hydrofluoric acids environmental stress cracking is likely to result over a period of time depending on the concentration of oxidizers involved. Unlike nylon. 2) PP is semi-crystalline and if properly molded will be 50-60% crystalline. It doesn't melt below 160oC (320oF). it has a good chemical resistance and used in industrial piping. making it ideal for uses where it will be constantly subject to moisture. dishwasher-proof food containers. When a thin section of molded polypropylene is flexed repeatedly. and is often used as a fiber in carpeting.

1mm thick but preferable to have a product thickness of more than 0.07 mm and 0. bottles and instrument jars that have to be sterilized frequently for use in clinical environments. 10) There are no known solvents for PP 11) With strong oxidizers like hypochlorites. 16) Clamping forces between 1½ and 5 Tons/square inch can be used as a guideline.4) PP is an ideal material for integral injection molded hinges. PP molecules orients in the direction of flow. 6) The melt flow index range of PP is approx 1 to 35 g/10 min. But. 15) A major advantage is Polypropylene's higher temperature resistance makes it particularly suitable for items such as trays. pails. funnels.38 mm. 8) Molding tolerances achievable using PP are between 0. sulphuric. 13) Stiffer. Low viscosity (high melt flow rate) resins generally require lower tonnages than high viscosity resins.5 mm for better flex life. The length of hinge can be at least 1. has a higher melting temperature.cm. 5) Average density of PP is 0. and is slightly more oxidationsensitive than HDPE. Although largely unreactive chemically. .903 g /cu. 7) Below a certain thickness. 14) Has enough chemical resistance to be used in industrial piping.18 mm 9) Production of fibres and film are the two largest markets for PP. the presence of the methyl groups makes PP slightly more susceptible to attack by strong oxidizing agents. Perpendicular direction to flow will be stronger in flexing. Theoretically the hinges can be as low as 0. nitric and hydrofluoric acids Environmental stress cracking is likely to result 12) Water absorption is negligible.

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