Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used plastics in the world and is often found on the top three list alongside Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PET). PP is one of the most versatile polymers out there and as such it is often used in a wide variety of applications.

In this two-part post we’ll help you get to know PP just a little bit better. In part one of our post we’ll focus on what exactly it is and what it’s used for while part two will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of this popular polymer.

Advantages of PP

  • It can be manufactured into a living hinge. (Living hinges are extremely thin pieces of plastic that bend without breaking even over extreme ranges of motion.)
  • It has a high melting point making it ideal for use in food containers.
  • It can be coloured in various ways without degrading the quality of the plastic.
  • It does not absorb water like other plastics.
  • It is lightweight and very flexible.
  • PP can be easily copolymerised (essentially combined into a composite plastic) with other polymers like polyethylene.

Disadvantages of PP

  • It is highly flammable.
  • It is susceptible to oxidation.
  • PP has been known to be difficult to paint because it has poor bonding properties.
  • It has poor resistance to chlorinated solvents and aromatics.

PP’s properties allow it to be effective in the use of material popular in everyday use, including any situation in which a non-staining and non-toxic solution is necessary. It is for this reason that it remains one of the plastics of choice.

Lookout for part 1 of our post where we look at what exactly PP is and what its used for.

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