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Polypropylene vs Abs

When buying a design chair or suitcase , you may not be uncertain about material differences. The following is an illuminating article on Polypropylene vs abs, these materials that are the most used to manufacture design chairs, they are the  “Polypropylene also known as PP” and “ABS”.

What is Polypropylene ?

Polypropylene ( PP ) or polypropene is a polymer , more precisely a thermoplastic , derived from recyclable propylene or propylene (plastic). It can be identified in materials through the triangular symbol of recyclable, with a number “5” inside and the letters “PP” underneath. Its molecular form is (C 3 H 6 ) n .

Polypropylene is a type of plastic that can be molded using only heating, ie it is a thermoplastic . It has properties very similar to those of polyethylene (PE), but with a higher softening point.

Main properties of Polypropylene

  • Low cost;
  • High chemical resistance and solvents;
  • Easy molding;
  • Easy staining;
  • High flexural strength or fatigue strength;
  • Good impact strength above 15 ° C;
  • Good thermal stability;

Applications of Polypropylene

  • Non-woven fabric;
  • Flexible Packaging;
  • Raffia (Sacks for grains and fertilizers);
  • Fibers;
  • Plastic Chairs;
  • Toys;
  • Plastic cups;
  • Packaging and containers for food, medicines and chemicals;
  • Body of household appliances (Iron, blender, mixer);
  • Lids in general, caps for carbonated beverages (water, soft drinks);
  • Carpets;
  • Injection syringes;
  • Sterilizable hospital supplies;
  • As an enclosure for autoclavable materials;
  • Auto parts (bumpers, pedals, battery housings, interior upholstery, lanterns, fans, fans, various parts in the passenger compartment).
  • Parts for washing machines.
  • Cables for hand tools.
  • Tupperware
  • Vertical Gardens

Currently, there is a tendency to use PP exclusively in cars. This would make it easier to recycle the material when the vehicle was scrapped, because you would know what material you were dealing with.

What is ABS ?

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8)x·?(C4H6)y·?(C3H3N)z) is a common thermoplastic polymer. Its glass transition temperature is approximately 105 °C (221 °F).

ABS is amorphous and therefore has no true melting point.

ABS is a terpolymer made by polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene.

The proportions can vary from 15 to 35% acrylonitrile, 5 to 30% butadieneand 40 to 60% styrene. The result is a long chain of polybutadiene criss-crossed with shorter chains of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile).

The nitrile groups from neighboring chains, being polar, attract each other and bind the chains together, making ABS stronger than pure polystyrene.

Properties of ABS

The most important mechanical properties of ABS are impact resistance and toughness

Another property will be influenced to some extent by the conditions under which the material is processed to the final product. For example, molding at a high temperature improves the gloss and heat resistance of the product whereas the highest impact resistance and strength are obtained by molding at low temperature. Fibers (usually glass fibers) and additives can be mixed in the resin pellets to make the final product strong and raise the maximum operating temperature as high as 80 °C (176 °F).

ABS polymers are resistant to aqueous acids, alkalis, concentrated hydrochloric and phosphoric acids, alcohols and animal, vegetable and mineral oils, but they are swollen by glacial acetic acid, carbon tetrachloride and aromatic hydrocarbons and are attacked by concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids. They are soluble in esters, ketones, ethylene dichloride and acetone.

Applications of ABS

ABS’s light weight and ability to be injection molded and extruded make it useful in manufacturing products such as:

  • Drain-waste-vent (DWV)
  • Pipe systems,
  • Musical instruments (recorders, plastic clarinets, and piano movements),
  • Golf club heads (because of its good shock absorbance),
  • Automotive trim components, automotive bumper bars,
  • Medical devices for blood access,
  • Enclosures for electrical and electronic assemblies
  • Protective headgear,
  • Whitewater canoes,
  • Buffer edging for furniture and joinery panels,
  • Luggage and protective carrying cases,
  • Small kitchen appliances,
  • toys, including Lego and Kre-O bricks. Household and consumer goods are the major applications of ABS.
  • Keyboard keycaps are commonly made out of ABS.
  • ABS plastic ground down to an average diameter of less than 1 micrometer is used as the colorant in some tattoo inks. Tattoo inks that use ABS are extremely vivid.
Lets look at the differences between Polypropylene and ABS

Polypropylene vs ABS which to choose

When it comes to material things made with , Prolipropylene and  ABS they seem to be  identical to such things as durability and comfort. Visually the difference is in the brightness of the colors, while the Prolipropylene is already shaped with pigmentation in the color so that the object holds the color ,ABS gets paint after molding, so it has greater brightness.

Since there are advantages and disadvantages in life, I cannot but mention some of them. While ABS furniture  shines for gaining post-manufacturing paint, it needs greater care against knocks and possible scratches, which can damage paint and aesthetics of the piece.

But the objects in polypropylene , take what we call semi-gloss, because they do not have a post-manufacturing paint, it comes with the pigmented natural color, thus, making paint almost impossible to remove.

Both materials allow recycling and this is very good for our environment.

Characteristics of Polypropylene

  • High Tenacity
  • Ease of pigmentation (semi-gloss)
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Resistance to detergents and cleaning agents
  • Resistance to sweat, mold and bad weather
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Allows recycling
  • Lightweight material

Characteristics of  ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)

  • High Tenacity
  • Painting with brightness
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Allows recycling
  • Lightweight material
  • Good elasticity without breaking

Where are these materials applied?

  • The ABS is often used in microwave windows, washing machines, housings for computers
  • The Polypropylene is used in parts washing machines, toys, corkscrew, bumpers, fans, water supplies, etc.

In summary, it is noted that they are very similar materials. Of course for certain purposes, ABS is better than polypropylene and vice versa. For furniture, these materials are barely distinguishable, so rest assured when purchasing your furniture, whether in ABS or Polypropylene .

The tip is

Whenever you buy furniture or other objects for decor use made in the materials mentioned above, watch the piece well, either by photo (purchases via e-commerce) or in person. Because they are molded materials, the molds can leave the pieces crooked and consequently out of ergonomics, harming their health.


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