What is polypropylene?
According to the plastics industry report, Polypropylene is one of the most widely used and basic polymers used in the world and the largest consumer of propylene is plastic industry. The name of this product is Polypropylene (PP) and its chemical formula is -CH2-CH (CH3) n-.
Polypropylene The polymerization of propylene is performed at relatively mild temperatures and pressures in the presence of the famous Ziegler-Nata catalyst. The presence of this catalyst forms an isotactic polymer that is able to crystallize up to about 90%.
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is used in a wide range of applications including film and sheet, blow molding, injection molding, food packaging, textiles, laboratory and medical equipment, pipes, industrial and construction applications, and automotive components. In addition, polymers made from propylene monomer are typically resistant to chemical solvents, bases, and acids. Which is characteristic of this polymer.
The propylene molecule has an asymmetric chemical structure, so its polymerization process can lead to three types of sequences in the resulting polymer structure. Due to the effects of spatial inhibition of methyl groups, the tail-to-tail sequence has a higher structural order than other types.
Commercialized Ipp has a variety of properties that have led to its widespread use, especially in the plastics and fiber industry. One of the most important properties of this material compared to polymers such as polyamides is the lack of moisture absorption in it, which has made it a suitable option for many applications. The properties of this material can be improved by making some subsequent modifications.
The most important improvements that are currently being made are the control of the degradation process, networking, operationalization, and branching. The structure of the Polypropylene molecule is linear due to the nature of Ziegler-Nata catalysts, which leads to low melt strength. Low melt strength limits the use of this polymer in processes such as blow molding and thermoforming.
In what industries is polypropylene used?
Polypropylene has been able to replace engineering polymers and even metal parts in industrial applications due to its easy acceptance of high amounts of various fillers and reinforcements, and as a result, a wide market has been opened for it. In addition, alloying with other polymers has diversified the grades and applications of this polymer. Polypropylene is used in:
- Thermoforming containers and plastic cartons
- Injection parts
- Blow molding
- Belts and straps
Compared to other polymers, Polypropylene has distinctive and prominent characteristics, which are:
- Relatively cheap price of propylene monomer compared to other polymer monomers
- Low price of PP compared to other polymers
- Specific weight and lightweight of PP
- Flexibility and wide range of PP production with variable physical and chemical properties:
- Increase new applications and improve the properties of new production grades
- Increase the use of PP in medical devices and equipment and develop applications of special grade PP
- Increase consumption of PP as an alloy with other polymers
- Replacement of polymers such as PS, PE, etc. with PP
Types of polypropylene grades
Polypropylene materials are generally divided into two general categories:
- Polypropylene is a homo polymer produced by the polymerization of propylene monomer alone and
- Polypropylene copolymer produced from the polymerization of propylene with ethylene co-monomer.
Polypropylene is one of the most important commercial polymers, which, like its family, covers a wide range of applications. Products made from it in various forms in the form of thermoforming, injection and pneumatic containers as well as food packaging films are widely developed and the automotive industry benefits from its blends including cheaper prices and similar properties to engineering polymers.
Polypropylene is commercially produced in three distinct types. Its homo-polymer is composed only of propylene monomers, but by adding ethylene co-monomer, according to the percentage and method of its addition, two types of Polypropylene copolymers, including random and block, are obtained.
In the first type, ethylene co-monomer is randomly placed between propylene monomers, but the second consists of ethylene and propylene blocks distributed in a matrix of Polypropylene homo-polymer. The latter type is actually a polymer compound that is the product of a polymerization reactor, but can also be produced synthetically by adding rubber to Polypropylene during the extrusion process, although it has weaker properties than a similar reactor grade.
Status of polypropylene production in the Middle East
By 2016, out of 4.7 million tons of poly-alefin (including polyethylene and polypropylene) produced in the Middle East, 23.4% is polypropylene. Mahshahr region with a production of 670 thousand tons, has been superrior from two regions of Assaluyeh and other regions with a total production of 435 thousand tons.
Of the three Certification in this area, two are owned by Basell, one by BP and the other by A.B.B. One complex based in Assaluyeh is licensed under Basell and two complexes in other areas are licensed under Himont. The country's poly-alefin production capacity will reach about 10 million tons per year in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the increase in Polypropylene was only 750,000 tons, which is also related to other regions. This means that Mahshahr and Assaluyeh will not have a share in the development of polypropylene. The share of this polymer in the total future capacity of poly-alephins produced in the country will decrease by 4.5% to 18.9%.
What is the largest Middle Eastern producer of propylene?
Jam Polypropylene Company produces 300,000 tons per year of Polypropylene in a wide range, under the brand name "JAMPILEN" with the highest quality and meets the needs of the complementary industries.
History Of Polypropylene
Polypropylene is used to make a variety of plastic parts in various industries. Figure 1 shows the global demand for plastics by resin type and, as can be seen, is the second most widely used polymer in the world.
Polypropylene was commercially marketed in 1957, about two-thirds of the world's propylene is used to make this polymer. Types of polypropylene: Polypropylenes are marketed in both homo-polymers and copolymers in order to achieve a variety of applications.