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PP - Polypropylene

Polypropylene (PP) was invented in 1954 by Professor Natta and was firstly commercially produced under the brand name Moplen by Montedison in 1957. Polypropylene (PP) is easy to process, has a low density and is relatively cheap versus other polymers.

The most important European polypropylene producers are Basell, Borealis, Total, Sabic, and now Braskem which took over the DOW assets in 2011.

Polypropylene chemical formula.

Polypropylene can be divided into three main groups:

  • Homopolymer polypropylene (hPP) grades exhibit high stiffness.
  • Copolymer polypropylene (cPP) grades provide superior impact performance even at low temperature.
  • Random copolymer polypropylene (raco PP) grades or statistical copolymers are transparent.

Quality of polypropylene grades has continued to improve over the years and will still do in the near future. Recent technical developments have created stiffer, clearer and more transparent grades and have taken market share from other polymers as ABS and PS.

Another feature of polypropylene is the excellent chemical resistance to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.

PP is used in many applications, but a distinct feature is the ability to produce hinges, used in closures and CD/DVD housings.

Polypropylene can be processed in nearly all existing conversion techniques.

Main polypropylene applications are:

  • Food packaging: cups, trays, clamshells.
  • Fibre extrusion.
  • Furniture: garden chairs, tables.
  • Housewares: storage containers, boxes.
  • Industrial packaging: bottles for detergents, pails and buckets.
  • Caps and closures.