Why Polypropylene is the Way of the Future, How Adhesives are Adapting

According to Transparency Market Research, the polypropylene (PP) market is predicted to reach $133.3 billion by 2023. As one of the most versatile materials currently available today, it’s no surprise that this type of polymer is rapidly becoming the way of the future. Let’s take a closer look at why that is and how adhesives are adapting.

Polypropylene Benefits and Applications

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic material that functions both as a plastic and a fiber and can be easily copolymerized. These qualities are a main reason why PP has started to replace traditional materials in certain industries.

It also offers a range of benefits, including:

  • High surface hardness
  • Good tensile strength
  • Strong chemical, heat and high impact resistance
  • High transparency and gloss
  • Lightweight

As a result, this type of plastic can be used in many applications for the packaging, automotive and assembly industries especially. For example, PP is seen in:

  • Perishable food storage packaging
  • Automotive bumpers and accessories
  • Refrigerator liners

Furthermore, products made with PP extremely strong without adding weight. This aspect aids in boosting fuel efficiency for the automotive industry in particular. Additionally, the plastics’ strength enables it to outperform steel and replace metals and concrete for structural applications.

Why Polypropylene Is the Way of the Future

In addition to PP’s many uses and benefits, it is the way of the future for the following key reasons:

  • Ability to possess greater product capabilities than otherwise available
  • Ability to be produced at a lower cost than existing materials
  • Continual refinement of plastics technology

How Adhesives are Adapting

PP is known for being difficult to adhere to due to its low surface energy. This characteristic has traditionally made it difficult for an adhesive to wet the surface and make a good bond. Instead, the adhesive has beaded up on the surface, rather than penetrating it.

However, advances in adhesive chemistries and surface preparation techniques have made bonding to polypropylene more possible than in the past. For example, certain surfaces can be pre-treated with techniques such as flame and plasma treatments. Additionally, new adhesive formulations are being developed that can adjust to low surface energy with or without surface preparation.

Bostik understands that PP is the way of the future and is develops smart products that can adhere to difficult substrates. For more information on our innovations, call 800-7-BOSTIK, or visit www.bostik.com/us

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