Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” made from the combination of propylene monomers. It is used in a variety of applications to include packaging for consumer products, plastic parts for various industries including the automotive industry, special devices like living hinges, and textiles. PP is one of the top three widely used polymers and among the cheapest plastics available today.
Polypropylene has applications both as a plastic and a fiber in:
- Automotive Industry
- Industrial Applications
- Consumer Goods, and
- Furniture Market
Types of Polypropylene:
- Polypropylene Homopolymer is the most widely utilized general-purpose grade. It contains only propylene monomer in a semi-crystalline solid form. Main applications include packaging, textiles, healthcare, pipes, automotive and electrical applications.
- Polypropylene Copolymer family is further divided into random copolymers and block copolymers produced by polymerizing of propane and ethane:
- Polypropylene Random Copolymer is produced by polymerizing together ethane and propane. It features Ethane units, usually up to 6% by mass, incorporated randomly in the polypropylene chains. These polymers are flexible and optically clear making them suitable of applications requiring transparency and for products requiring an excellent appearance.
- While in Polypropylene Block Copolymer, ethane content is larger (between 5 and 15%). It has co-monomer units arranged in regular pattern (or blocks). The regular pattern hence makes thermoplastic tougher and less brittle than the random co-polymer. These polymers are suitable for applications requiring high strength, such as industrial usages.