Technical Name: poly(1-methylethylene)
Common Names: Polypropylene or Polypropene

Polypropylene is a polymer with very interesting and useful properties, so it has many uses. It is used in thermoplastics, fibers, and thermoplastic elastomers. It is a synthetic Polymer made up of Propylene monomers. Below is a picture of the monomer and polymer:


Polypropylene is formed by addition of the monomers. Zieglar-Natta polymerization and metallocene catalysis are specific ways by which polypropylene is formed.

It is a strong, stain and impact-resistant, lightweight polymer with high heat resistance (melting point=160 degrees C). Because of these properties, there are many uses for polypropylene; it is used in containers (barrels, tanks, etc.), fabrics, sinks, ducts, and as a chemical resistant lining. Polypropylene can sometimes use cross-linkage to bond to other polymers of polypropylene, but it depends on it's environment.

Polypropylene is synthesized, and after use can be recycled into signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, and trays.

Physical Properties
- Melting point occurs ~160 ⁰ C
- Can be tough or flexible
- Lightweight
- High tensile strength
- Impact resistant
- High compressive strength
- Excellent dielectric properties
- Resists stress cracking
- Retains stiffness and flex
- Low moisture absorption
- Non-staining
- Easily fabricated
- High heat resistance
- Density: 0.855 g/cm3, amorphous form
0.946 g/cm3, crystalline form

Chemical Properties
- Non-toxic
- Resistant to alkali metals
- Resistant to acids
- Resistant to solvents

This is a model of the monomer propylene (C3H6). The black molecules represent carbon, and the white represent Hydrogen.

Above is a diagram of the molecule polypropylene. It does a nice job of showing a specific monomer and how it fits in the polymer.

This image above shows two polymers polypropylene. This image helps see what the polymer looks like as a whole.

This image shows what polypropylene looks like in 3-D. The blue molecules represent carbons, and the gray molecules represent Hydrogen.

“Detection of instellar propylene in the dark cloud TMC-1”. Observatoire. http://www.obspm.fr/actual/nouvelle/jul07/mol-f2.gif >
“Petrorabigh, Saudi Arabia”. Chemicals-Technology. 2008, Media Limited. 15 May 2008. <http://www.chemicals-technology.com/projects/rabigh/images/4s-polypropylene-molecule.jpg >
“Polypropylene”. Recyclable Symbols. 2008, Earth Odyssey, LLC. <http://www.earthodyssey.com/symbols.html >
“Polypropylene.” SD Plastics. 2008 San Diego Plastics, Inc. 15 May 2008. <http://www.sdplastics.com/polypro.html >
“Polypropylene.” The Macrogalleria. 2005. University of Southern Mississippi. 15 May 2008. <http://pslc.ws/macrog//pp.htm >
“Polypropylene”. Wikipedia. 10 May 2008, Wikimedia Inc. 15 May 2008. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypropylene>
“What is Polypropylene?” Lenntech. 2008. Lenntech Polypropylene, Inc. 15 May 2008. <http://www.lenntech.com/polypropylene.htm >