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Why Polypropylene is the Second Most Popular Plastic

May 30, 2019

Have you ever wondered why personal care products made of plastic are so darn indestructible? There’s a good chance it’s made from PP (Polypropylene).  PP is easily sourced and economical.  It’s an ideal material for everything-resistant products and durable goods — items like housewares, utensils, sportswear and toys.  PP is also highly suitable for medical and laboratory equipment, and other industrial products.

Polypropylene (PP) is the second most popular plastic in the world of plastic injection molding, right after ABS  (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).  Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer resin that boasts a semi-crystalline structure, giving it high-strength, lightweight and exceptional durability.

But it gets better:  because it can be remelted and reformed into plastic pellets, PP is completely recyclable.  In other words, in addition to all its other attributes, PP is a “green” and even more desirable in an industry that is becoming more environmentally aware.

Depending on the polymerization process used to produce it, PP can incorporate different characteristics and textures.  But here are some of its common benefits, no matter what its final form:

  • Tensile strength: Despite being lightweight, the material can handle heavy loads with ease.
  • Elasticity and toughness: PP is considered a “tough” material because it can bend, even deform, without breaking.  Highly flexible, it can be molded into almost any shape imaginable.  This flexibility also guarantees that it can withstand considerable damage before it fails.
  • Fatigue resistance: This is why so many personal care product lids and living hinges are made from PP! Polypropylene retains its shape even after being bent or twisted.
  • Liquid resistance: PP is completely impermeable to any liquid. That means total immersion applications in medical and industrial applications are no problem.
  • Transmissivity: While not necessarily translucent,  PP has high transmissivity.  Aesthetics or transfer of light require this characteristic.
  • Low cost: Enough Said!
  • High melting point: When compared to other plastics available in the market, PP’s high melting point makes it an ideal option for food service (containers, kitchen utensils) where high temperatures are common, as a well as laboratory uses.
  • Allows for the addition of colors: PP  can withstand any color-dying process
  • Biological resistance: It does not grow mold or deteriorate through, bacteria or fungi (at least in the short term).
  • Insulation: Given its high resistance to electricity it is commonly used in electronic components.

Not bad for the No.2 most popular plastic in the plastic injection molding industry!


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