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What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene is a versatile plastic polymer, renowned for its resilience and adaptability. It's a go-to material for packaging, textiles, and countless household items due to its durability and resistance to water, chemicals, and fatigue. Its unique properties make it an integral part of our daily lives. Curious about how polypropylene impacts your world? Let's delve deeper into its ubiquitous presence.
Brendan McGuigan
Brendan McGuigan

Polypropylene is a plastic polymer with the chemical formula C3H6. It is used in many different settings, both in industry and in consumer goods, and it can be used both as a structural plastic and as a fiber. This plastic is often used for food containers, particularly those that need to be dishwasher safe.

The melting point of polypropylene is very high compared to many other plastics, at 320°F (160°C), which means that the hot water used when washing dishes will not cause dishware made from this plastic to warp. This contrasts with polyethylene, another popular plastic for containers, which has a much lower melting point. Polypropylene is also very easy to add dyes to, and it is often used as a fiber in carpeting that needs to be rugged and durable, such as that for use around swimming pools or on miniature golf courses. Unlike nylon, which is also often used as a fiber for rugged carpeting, it doesn't soak up water, making it ideal for uses where it will be constantly subject to moisture.

Many dishwasher-safe food containers are made of polypropylene.
Many dishwasher-safe food containers are made of polypropylene.

Research is ongoing with polypropylene, as makers experiment with different methods for synthesizing it. Some of these experiments yield the promise of exciting new types of plastic, with new consistencies and a different feel from the fairly rigid version that most people are used to. These new elastic versions are very rubbery, making them even more resistant to shattering and opening up many different uses for an already pervasive plastic.

Polypropylene file holder.
Polypropylene file holder.

Polypropylene is not as sturdy as polyethylene, but it has benefits that make it the better choice in some situations. One of these situations is creating hinges from a plastic, such as a plastic lid on a travel mug. Over time, plastics wear out from the repetitive stress of being opened and shut, and eventually will break. Polypropylene is very resistant to this sort of stress, and it is the plastic most often used for lids and caps that require a hinging mechanism.

Polypropylene is dishwasher-safe.
Polypropylene is dishwasher-safe.

Like many plastics, polypropylene has virtually endless uses, and its development has not slowed since its discovery. Whether used for industrial molds, rugged currency, car parts, or storage containers, it is one of a handful of materials the world is literally built around.

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Discussion Comments


i want to know about polypropylene used in doormat segments


i wanted to know what material is added to plastic to change it to Polypropylene?


Would you use polypropylene to manufacture an electric hot water cylinder for domestic use?


This product is used to make TVT sling mesh to hold a prolapse uterus or hernia problems. I just had one removed from being in me for two years and the pain was just awful. I'm sensitive to antibiotics and had to take them to save my life because it was attacking my organs and my immune system, and I couldn't fight anything.

How do you explain using that for a medical device when they don't allow them in the dumps any longer? Also, if they continue using this, women will be in so much pain that men will have to become celibate as the pain is too excruciating to make love. Plastic doesn't belong in the human body. Now I feel wonderful since it's out and I am the lucky one. Now I have to clean my system with normal herbs and exercise. Don't get that mesh, folks, or you will be in deep trouble. Death was at my door twice this year.


The radiator core support in my 2006 Ford Freestyle was recently cracked. Is this part made of polyropylene? How can I find out and if it is what type of glue can be used to repair the crack?

The part is quite expensive and I cannot afford to replace it (I am on disability, a fixed income and 65 year old female and really need to get to my doctor ASAP) so I have been without transportation in a rural area. I would appreciate an answer soon if possible.


How is polypropylene recycled or disposed of safely?


Where do I find polypropylene cloth? Such as for trampolines?


Is this polypropylene used to make mesh to help women with proplased uterus or hernias in men. It is not mentioned here.


How is PP manufactured? With what materials/gases?


Plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylente can be made to biodegrade in landfills, if an additive is put into them at the time of manufacture. In landfills, it contributes to methane capture, which saves the equivalent to the fuel used in 14 million cars a year.


To the gentleman looking to "get back into the water":

My name is Luke. I work for my family business which is a company that designs and manufactures protective packaging. We also manufacture OEM and retail products. We work with many different types of foam materials and polymers.

I would be glad to lend my expertise and some time to help you out. You can reach me by looking up Barber Packaging Company. Please don't respond on here because I probably won't re-visit this forum.


Why is polypropylene IR so hard to find?


i want to know about the polypropylene market?


is polypropylene degradable automatically.


At what point is polypropylene not considered polypropylene when it is blended with polyethylene? At thirty percent pe blend? Forty percent pe blend?


how recent is polypropylene?


I'm designing children's placemats and want them as safe as possible. Are Polyethylene And Polypropylene the best, eco friendly materials to use? I'm making sure that they are BPA free. Thanks.


we are currently installing a leaching plant at our company and we would like to know the advantages and disadvantage of a grey and white polypropylene material for barrels. please help.


As a 5 year old I remember my father getting third degree burns on his hand while boiling butter and then pouring it onto a plastic carrier which melt off and went directly onto his hands. Thanks now to Polypropylene cookery carriers, this problem has now been taken care of.


to all those wanting to glue Polypro- this is a very difficult to bond plastic. Your best option is to rough the surfaces (with sandpaper or sandblasting) corona treat the surface if you have access to a corona wand, and then use a two-part epoxy specially formulated for PP- 3m Scotchweld 8010 or 8005.


When Polypropylene or (one of its derivatives) is used in clothing, does it breathe? Can it be used as rain gear and both keep you dry from the elements and from perspiration?


Can you please tell me what is the main source of polypropolene? thanks


I heard that Polypropylene coating for acid tank dikes is a best solution than acid resistant brick / tile lining. Is this idea is correct?


How safe is polypropylene? It reacts with chlorine. Therefore, hollow fiber membrane filters made of polypropylene, coming into contact with chlorinated water, does it pose any reaction problems?


I am looking to buy machinery for manufacturing PP bags. can any one recommend good machinery and approx how much i should be looking at paying for a second hand one.


What is the use of ppr pipes in BSL-3 labs?


what is a glue for polypropylene copolymer?


can pp fabric be used in industrial filtration?


PP is safe for landfill use. You put it in the hole and cover it with some dirt and the PP will not be damaged.


What causes PP to degrade or become brittle?


thank you for this article. It cleared up lots of my misunderstanding. --Sohail.


what is it made of?


i have a 'keepcup' recyclable coffee mug made from polypropylene. i was assured it was safe, but when i put boiling water in it, it smelt strongly of plastic. is it truly safe?


How is Polypropylene manufactured?


what type of bonds does polypropylene have?


thank you. this article helped me with my assignment on polypropylene. without it i would be stuck.


if this plastic was eliminated from the landfill could other materials be used to make similar items?

is this a threat to the landfill?

please answer and thanks.


has polypropylene been studied for safe use in surgical procedures?


The top of a rotisserie chicken caught on fire in my house and that very small item put soot on all three levels of my town house. It definitely had an oil in the soot and we have been out of our house three weeks while they are cleaning.

I put out the fire and inhaled the smoke and now I have to see a pulmonary specialist. I now have smoke induced bronchitis. Can you tell me the hazards involved when this item burns?


Please tell me any manufacturer's name who is currently manufacturing polypropylene material. Because we have a very big requirement urgently.


What glue is used to bond to Polypropylene?


please for electrical corrugated tubes can I use PE, PP, PVC or PA? Which of them is more advantageous?


yes polypropylene is 100 percent recyclable.

Oil is not used to make polypropylene. the gas propylene is extracted from oil cracker which is used to make polypropylene.

No, decron is not polypropylene. It is polyester.


No polypropylene does not contain PVC or bisphenol-A

You can make polypropylene soft article with EPDM rubber or directly purchase TPO for kid play room. it is 100 percent safe.


Which would be better for a car bumper, polypropylene or polyurethane?


Can polypropylene be used to absorb oil in water without absorbing the water as well?


Okay, I'm looking to design and produce a biopsy spatula.


can this polypropylene be recycled?


I see polypropylene used as a low tack adhesive sold in sheets and rolls for crafting projects. It adheres to many surfaces without leaving any residue or smearing, is repositionable, and can come in clear and glossy sheets. But is it safe for the skin? As a crafter I handle this material constantly, and I can't seem to find any information on the FDA or manufacturer's website about it either.


Does anyone know if it makes a suitable greenhouse?


How is polypropylene related to polypropylene fumarate? Are they chemically similar and do they share the same properties?


What glue is used to bond Polypropylene to foam?


does polypropylene changes its color when it comes in contact with any electrolyte?

or when does it change its color -- like in which situation?


where in the usa can i buy polypropylene?


we are using flame retardant polypropylene containers for our batteries. In that we are using KOH as electrolyte. our electrodes are nickel and cadmium. in that it is running with a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius. so recently we noticed that a layer of yellow color is forming on the walls of the container. so could anyone please tell if that is a reaction taking place between the electrolyte and pp or is there any fault in the composition of polypropylene?


What is the advantage of Polypro to PVC? and What is the advantage of PVC over Poly pro?


where in Canada or USA can I buy Polypropylene?


Can you glue slate tile to polypropylene vertical wall with silicone?


if used as a textile can it melt?


is it true polypropylene can be used for underwear?


does polypropylene contaminate the production of wool? and if so why does it contaminate the fibers of the wool?


Can anyone answer these questions? Especially for the gentleman who would like help in his activities in the ocean?


Just bought a boat made of the same stuff. It's called a porta bote. Folds up fits on the roof rack of my car.


which type of polypropylene containers are used in the filling of cyanoacrylate bioadhesives?


if i want to mixing PP with other material, what material kind that can to coating PP from environment and more strength than only PP?


I am looking for the best plastic to attract oil which is present in water. I understand the property is oleaphobic and wonder which plastic material is best for this purpose. Can you advise?


What are the filler material possible to be added in injection moulding a polypropylene packing container/capsule?

Can silica be added as a filler, to reduce the cost of a manufacturing packing capsule?

If not what filler material is possible to be added?


Hello, I have an offer to buy a front bumper for a car. How good could be this kind of material to be use on a car or do this material peels easily with time?


I am interested in getting some black polypropylene rod or sheet stock to make mouthpieces for smoking pipes. Does anyone have an idea where to find it? All I have been able to find is natural and white.



so how do you dispose of something that never wears or decomposes?


What is your feeling of baby bottles being made with this plastic polypropylene?


can i know the price of virgin polypropylene code named S100.F380. its very urgent.


I love the ocean so I moved to Fort Lauderdale. In 1989 I became a quadriplegic. However, nothing was going to stop me from swimming in the ocean.

One day, I gathered a couple of teenagers, and brought them to the beach with me along with a giant queen sized bed sheet. Then they lifted me from my wheelchair, and placed me on the bed sheet.

Three of them dragged me to the water on the sheet until I became fully buoyant. It worked great! Then I started thinking! What if I took a thin sheet of polypropylene, maybe 1/8 of an inch thick, and bent it up slightly in the front and sides to prevent sand from getting on me. Also, drilling two holes on the top where my head will go, and insert nylon anchor rope to use for pulling me into the ocean.

The polypropylene sled would reduce friction, and protect me from the sharp objects that might be hidden in the sand. It really would serve the same purpose as a stretcher used by EMS. I would also like to attach a 24 inch soft plastic rod holding a blue flag with the white ISA (International Symbol of Accessibility a/k/a Wheelchair Symbol) printed on it.

The reason for this, is to pull it up on shore after transferring me into the water, and indicate to the lifeguard it is not going to be used as a flotation device.

It would strictly be used as an ambulatory device to bring an injured party to and from the ocean from an umbrella that the rest of my family would be hanging out. Somebody please help me!

I don't care about patent rights, I just want to get back in the ocean again! I think polypropylene is the right material! Please advise!

John Garon


Is is safe to use a polypropylene sediment filter in a reverse osmosis water filtering system? The other two filters in the system are carbon.


Plastics are completely unsustainable because they all come from oil. We have reached peak oil and we can no longer continue to utilize plastic as excessively as we currently are. We need to think before we purchase products made from plastic and consider whether it's truly worth it.


is polypropylene used in making toasters? what other plastics are used?


I think this article is fab and very informative.


PLA is made from plant resin, and is just as good if not better than those made from fossil fuels. Henry Ford had originally planned to use bio-plastics in his cars. PLA is biodegradable and can be composted.


As far as I know oil is used to make all plastics. Polypro is very safe, I don't understand how the one person can say plastics are crap, they make up so much of our world today. On the "plastics aren't green" issue what if your car didn't implement so much plastic, you would burn 50x more gas. People need to think before they speak. As for the UV resistance and the winter weather resistance polypro is pretty resistant to most things so I think you both would be good.


I would like to connect two polypropylene containers together, and am wondering if anyone knows of an epoxy or other glue that will hold them together permanently.

Thanks so much


During industrial processes Polypropylene is used as building blocks for a wide variety of polyurethane foam products. How is industrial wastewater treated for any contaminants this product may produce?


no mention of polypropylene gloves and socks which, I keep reading,are suitable for Antarctica but no idea given on where to obtain these !


I am doing a case study of bio-form bras which also use polypropylene and i was wondering if any one can tell me the environmental effect of using polypropylene in manufacturing.

I have been trying to research it but due to the fact that it is a reasonable new plastic, no one seems to want to list its faults!

thank you


I'm planning to purchase a swimming pool cover. Some are made using polypropylene and others use polyethylene. Which would be better to use in Michigan in the winter?

Thank You


So it is plastic. Then how can those non-woven Polypropylene bags call themself "green"?


Is Dacron the same as polypropylene?

I need UV resistant rope for my flag pole and was told that Dacron fills the bill. Problem is all I can find in Dacron is fishing line. Flag pole companies sell nylon and polypropylene.


polypropylene is what people sniff and get effects.


If you are comparing a wool or polypropylene rug, you might like to consider that the polyprop is relatively inert as well as being durable, while the wool has probably been processed using highly toxic chemicals and may cause skin irritation.


Since it's a plastic, is oil used to make polypropylene?


If you are looking for a soft rug that is safe, I would suggest Wool. Other safe, natural choices would be a woven grass rug. Ultimately, all synthetics and plastics are crap, and are full of harmful chemicals.


Dose Polypropylene contain PVC or bisphenol-A. I am looking for a soft rug for the kids play room/ our office and need the plastic to be safe.

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    • Many dishwasher-safe food containers are made of polypropylene.
      By: withGod
      Many dishwasher-safe food containers are made of polypropylene.
    • Polypropylene file holder.
      By: rgbdigital
      Polypropylene file holder.
    • Polypropylene is dishwasher-safe.
      By: lapas77
      Polypropylene is dishwasher-safe.
    • Polypropylene is widely used to make plastic bottles for milk, soda and other beverages.
      By: Budimir Jevtic
      Polypropylene is widely used to make plastic bottles for milk, soda and other beverages.