Polypropylene is a fascinating material used for the manufacturing of polypropylene bags in South Africa. These bags are reusable, recyclable, lightweight, and flexible bulk bags that can help businesses save on transportation and packaging costs while being more environmentally friendly than other packaging alternatives. 

Here are some interesting facts about the science behind polypropylene.

How Is Polypropylene Made?

Polypropylene, which is formed out of carbon and hydrogen, is a thermoplastic polymer made through the polymerisation of propylene, which is a gas.

Propylene gas is obtained by applying high temperatures to propane and petroleum hydrocarbons. This gas is then polymerised by using a catalyst – such as a Ziegler-Natta or a metallocene catalyst – in a reactor vessel. 

Once the propylene has been polymerised, it is extruded into pellets, which become the raw material for the manufacture of various polypropylene products. This involves melting the pellets and subjecting them to either injection moulding, extrusion, or blow moulding.

What Makes Polypropylene Special?

Plastics are generally considered to be the worst offenders in the fight against environmental degradation. 

However, one of the lesser-known facts about polypropylene is that it can be manufactured without emitting any harmful emissions into the atmosphere. It is also one of the easiest and most efficient plastics to recycle, and it can typically be reused as many as 50 times before it begins to lose its strength and is discarded. 

Also worth noting is that polypropylene is relatively easy and safe to discard. Owing to its high calorific content, which is similar to that of oil, the polymer can be incinerated with minimal emissions if done correctly.

Only carbon dioxide, water vapour, and a negligible amount of ash are produced during the combustion of polypropylene.

Moreover, because polypropylene burns exothermically – which means heat is released during the process – it can be used effectively as a fuel. By burning waste polypropylene that has reached the end of its useful life, the heat that is generated can be used in waste-to-energy facilities to recover energy. The heat that is created through this process can be used to create steam that can turn turbines to create electricity. 

What Are Some Other Unique Properties Of Polypropylene?

Polypropylene’s low density makes it about 35% lighter than other polymers such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), making it easier to handle.

Despite being lightweight, it is extremely strong and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Another useful characteristic of polypropylene is that it is highly resistant to most corrosive chemicals, making it an ideal material for bulk bags.

At Tufbag, we manufacture woven polypropylene bags in South Africa to the highest quality standards. Contact us today to order bulk bags for your business.