The key difference between polypropylene and plastic is that crystal clear material can be produced from polypropylene, whereas plastic material is not usually clear.
If we are to use a bag for the packaging of a commodity, we tend to use a material for packaging considering the properties of the material. If we want to expose the commodity, we need a bag that is crystal clear. Plastic bags are not a good choice in this case since they are not clear. However, polypropylene is one of the best choices for this purpose.
What is Polypropylene?
Polypropylene is a plastic polymer. The monomer of polypropylene is propylene; it has three carbons and one double bond between two of those carbon atoms. We can manufacture this material from propylene gas in the presence of a catalyst such as titanium chloride. Furthermore, the production of this material is easy, and it gives a high purity.
Polypropylene’s important properties are as follows.
- High resistance to cracking, acids, organic solvents, electrolytes
- High melting point
- Has good dielectric properties
- High economic value.
Therefore, this material is useful for the production of pipes, containers, houseware, packaging, and automotive parts.
What is Plastic?
Plastic is a polymer with a large molecular mass. The monomers of plastic are either natural or synthetic. The production of plastic is mainly from petrochemicals. Hence, it is a synthetic polymer. The two major types of plastics are thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. Thermoplastics becomes soft when we heat it, and if we cool it, it solidifies again. Therefore, with continuous heating and cooling, we can change the shape without a problem (e.g. polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, polystyrene).
However, if we heat and cool thermosetting polymers, it hardens permanently. When we heat it, it can be moulded, but if heated again, it will decompose (E.g., Bakelite, which is used to make handles of pots and pans).
Plastics are very useful in different forms; for example, bottles, bags, boxes, fibres, films, etc. They are very resistant to chemicals and are thermal and electric insulators. Different plastics have different strengths, but they generally have a lightweight. We can produce this material via condensation and addition reactions. Furthermore, it is possible to make crosslink between polymer chains in the synthesizing process. For instance, we can produce polyethylene by an addition reaction of the monomer ethylene. Moreover, its repeating unit is –CH2-.
Nevertheless, depending on the way it undergoes polymerization, the properties of the synthesized polyethylene changes. For example, PVC or polyvinyl chloride is similar to polyethylene, with a monomer of CH2=CH2Cl, but the difference is that the PVC has chlorine atoms. Also, PVC is rigid and useful in manufacturing pipes.
What is the Difference Between Polypropylene and Plastic?
Plastic is a polymer with a large molecular mass. Polypropylene is an example of a plastic polymer. The key difference between polypropylene and plastic is that we can produce crystal clear material from polypropylene, whereas plastic material is not usually clear. Moreover, we can produce polypropylene from the propylene gas in the presence of a catalyst such as titanium chloride, but we produce plastic from petrochemicals.
Furthermore, there is some notable difference between polypropylene and plastic in their properties. The important properties of polypropylene include lightweight, low toxicity, high melting point, etc. while the properties of plastic include corrosion resistance, low thermal and electrical conductivity, colour, low cost, etc.
Summary – Polypropylene vs Plastic
Plastic is a polymer that has a large molecular mass. Polypropylene is an example of a plastic polymer. The key difference between polypropylene and plastic is that we can produce crystal clear material from polypropylene, whereas plastic material is not usually clear.