Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications such as packaging and labelling, textiles
(e.g. ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), writing material, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes.
Polypropylene is a plastic material which is highly appreciated and used by both industry and design. Giulio Natta, Nobel for Chemistry, invented it more than 50 years ago
in March 1954. Since 1957,this ground-breaking discovery brought the production of polypropylene to a large commercial scale by the Italian company Montecatini. Syndiotactic polypropylene was synthesized by Natta and his collaborators.
Polypropylene is the second most important polymer in the world (after polyethylene, PE), with expected revenues to exceed $ 145 billion by 2019. The demand for this material continues to grow at a constant rate of 4.4%.
Polypropylene has several advantages: it is non-toxic, odorless, extremely light and can be washed and sterilized ( the reason for which it is used for food containers). It is alsoheat-resistant (melts at 160° C), humidity and water resistant. Resists stains, solvents, acids, wear and tear and is inexpensive. However, it presents a discrete mechanical resistance, is not particularly shock-resistance and is sensitive to UV rays. It is inflammable, even though it does not emit fumes or noxious
substances. These disadvantages can be overcome by adding suitable additives.
Polypropylene can undergo several processes that make it suitable for different uses; in fact, it can be rolled up, pasted, printed, colored, manufactured translucent or transparent.
This material is then mainly used for furniture, kitchen items, such as food containers, packaging, for making doormats and artificial lawns, in home appliances and car components.