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Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most versatile of the bulk polymers. Its intrinsic properties of high stiffness, good tensile strength, good processability and inertness towards acid, alkalis and solvents has secured its position in a wide range of consumer and industrial products, manufactured by several high volume forming methods.

In addition, its low density and cost advantage over other thermoplastic polymers make it suitable for applications that are weight and cost conscious. These properties plus good heat resistance and ease of recycling has made PP the polymer of choice in the automotive industry where 50 percent of all plastics used in passenger cars is PP.

Key applications include packaging, fibres and automotive parts. Injection moulded PP has applications in packaging, automotive, electronic and electrical appliances, houseware, toys and luggage. PP fibres are used in carpets, clothing and non-woven, while its combined strength and resistance has led to the replacement of sisal and jute in ropes, twine and string. Film grade PP offers excellent optical clarity and low moisture vapour transmission with uses in the packaging of sweets, snack foods and cigarettes, capacitors and other electronic films, photo and graphic arts applications, and pressure sensitive tape backing and labels. IPP (Isotactic PP) film grades can be used for clothing packaging (China) and food packaging (Thailand). BOPP film is mainly used in food and cigarette packaging in Asia. The difference between IPP usage and BOPP usage is that IPP grades are more popular with smaller scale converters, while BOPP is used for larger converters.

Copolymer PP is used in car and truck bumper manufacturing and has medical applications as well. PP sheet is used in thermoformed food containers, which can be blow or injection moulded. Polypropylene can be extruded for use in pipe and conduit, wire and cable, while atactic polypropylene finds outlets in paper laminating, sealants and adhesives.

To find out more Polypropylene Methodology September 2013

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