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Types of Polypropylene Uses

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Polypropylene Material (PP) is an thermoplastic"addition polymer" that is made up of the combination of monomers made from propylene. What is polypropylene It is utilized in a myriad of ways including packaging for consumer goods and plastic components for various industries like the automotive industry, and special devices such as live hinges and textiles.

Polypropylene first became polymerized in 1951 by a couple of Phillips petroleum scientists known as Paul Hogan and Robert Banks and then through Italian as well as German scientist Natta as well as Rehn. It was discovered extremely quickly and commercial production began just three years later. Italian scientist Prof. Giulio Natta, was the first to polymerize it.

Natta created as well as synthesized first polypropylene in Spain in the year 1954. the capability of polypropylene to crystallize generated a lot excitement. In 1957, its popularity was exploding and widespread commercial production was beginning all over Europe. It is now one of the most frequently produced plastics around the globe.

The CNC cut Living Hinge prototype of Child Safe Lid developed by the creators of Mechanisms.

PP Material References

According to certain studies, the current global demand for the substance creates a market annual of around 45 million tonnes and it is anticipated that the demand will grow to 60 million tons by the year 2020.

The biggest end-users of polypropylene is the packaging business, that accounts for approximately 30 percent of the total. This is being followed by production of electrical equipment and electrical equipment, that uses around 13 percent each. Automotive and household appliances both use 10% each and construction materials occupy 5percent in the industry.

Other applications collectively comprise the remainder of the polypropylene consumed globally.

Polypropylene is a comparatively slippery surface, which could make it a viable alternative to plastics such as Acetal (POM) in low friction applications such as gears or as a contact point in furniture.

A negative side of this property is that it may be difficult to join Polypropylene with different surfaces (i.e. it is not able to adhere to some glues that work well with other plastics, and may need to be weld in the event of the formation of a joint is needed).

While polypropylene is not slippery at the molecular scale however, it has the highest coefficient of friction, which is the reason why acetal, nylon or PTFE could be preferentially used. Polypropylene is also a bit low in density compared to other plastics, which results in weight savings for producers and distributors of injection-molded Polypropylene parts.

It is extremely resistant at the room temperature against organic solvents such as fats however it is susceptible to oxidation in higher temperature (a possible issue in the injection molding process).

One of the biggest advantages of Polypropylene is the fact that it can be made (either via CNC or injection molding or thermoforming or the crimping process) to create a living hinge. Live hinges are slim piece of material that can are able to bend without breaking (even in extreme ranges of motion, which can reach all 360°).

PP Techniques 

They're not very useful in structural applications such as supporting a heavy door however they are extremely helpful for other applications that do not require loads such as the lid of bottles of ketchup, or shampoo. Polypropylene is particularly suited in living hinges since it doesn't break when bent repeatedly.

Another benefit is that polypropylene is able to be CNC manufactured to incorporate the possibility of a living hinge, which makes it easier to develop prototypes and is more affordable than other prototyping techniques. Creative Mechanisms are the only company that is able to make living hinges out of a single sheet from polypropylene.


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Types of Polypropylene Uses

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Published on April 13, 2022

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