Engineers are quickly growing to appreciate the cost, light weight and durability advantages of thermoplastics over metals in many applications, but not everyone is sure of the suitable thermoplastic for particular applications.
This learning curve is a hangover from the days when Australian engineering was almost exclusively metals-focussed in particular industry categories, preferring to stick with traditional metal engineering materials even as the rest of the world was switching to thermoplastics in important areas of industry where they were ideal for mechanical, structural and chemical applications.
One such thermoplastic whose time has now come is Polypropylene PP or Polystone PP in the extensive Dotmar range, which has a non-polar structure that gives it a high molecular mass. This makes it highly resistant to chemicals and to aqueous solutions of salts, acids and alkalis. PP homopolymers have a high level of stiffness and toughness at room temperature.
This, together with their capacity to repel water, makes them a good choice for mechanical, structural and chemical applications including:
- food or corrosive storage vessel
- cooling or scrubbing tower
- pump bodies and component
- wall cladding; pipe flanges
- chemical storage tanks
- electroplating barrels, tanks and hoods
- fume cupboards and bench tops
Dotmar Polystone PP (H) from Dotmar EPP, is a polyolefin which is much stiffer and harder with high heat resistance and excellent chemical resistance at elevated temperatures. The Polystone PP or Polypropylene PP, from Dotmar EPP, is a pugnacious engineering plastic with a repellent nature.
Faced with an abundance of materials to choose from, industries such as medical, food packaging and materials processing and handling, for example, are reaping the benefits of polypropylene. Available at a lower cost, polypropylene features a chemical and impact resistance that matches expensive resins and is preferable over metals.
Produced by the polymerization of propylene monomer with or without co-monomers, polypropylene has a low density of all the commodity thermoplastics and is available in a range of molecular weights depending on the production process and comonomer used. Due to polypropylene's low density and impact/stiffness balance, finished parts often require fewer raw materials than other competitive resins, making it a cost-effective commodity plastic.
The key features and benefits of polypropylene are:
- Mechanical Strength - a hard, stiff readily workable material
- Impact resistance - robust and tough
- High chemical resistance
- Higher scratch resistance than plastics such as HDPE
- Moisture resistance – good food and chemical applications
- Weldable - suitable for fabrication
Polypropylene is available from Dotmar EPP in rod, sheet or as machined parts.