Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplasticpolymer used in a wide variety of applications. An addition polymer made from the monomerpropylene, it can be produced in a variety of structures giving rise to applications including packaging and labeling, textiles, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, automotive components, and medical devices. It is a white, mechanically rugged material, and is resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids.
Phillips Petroleum chemists J. Paul Hogan and Robert Banks first polymerized propylene in 1951. Propylene was first polymerized to a crystalline isotactic polymer by Giulio Natta as well as by the German chemist Karl Rehn in March 1954. This pioneering discovery led to large-scale commercial production of isotactic polypropylene by the Italian firm Montecatini from 1957 onwards. Syndiotactic polypropylene was also first synthesized by Natta and his coworkers.
After polyethylene, polypropylene is the most important plastic with revenues expected to exceed US$145 billion by 2019. The sales of this material are forecast to grow at a rate of 5.8% per year until 2021.