What chemicals are polypropylene resistant to?

13 February 2023
Polypropylene Granule

It’s important to note exactly what your containers are made out of and what chemicals may or may not affect them. This will help with storage, transport, and use. So having this information ahead of time will help you when you want to order your products, whether they’re customizable or ordered in bulk. One of those components to weigh up is polypropylene.

Polypropylene has a variety of uses, from packaging to parts for machinery to even being core components of textiles and used to make ropes. Polypropylene chemical compatibility is so wide that it is also considered one of the safest plastic container materials for storing foods, from yogurts to cheese-based products.

So what chemicals are polypropylene resistant to?

When it comes to Polypropylene chemical compatibility, the list is actually quite long. It’s really one of the most compatible options in the market today. It’s resistant to some weak acids such as Boric Acid or Acetic Acid, which also includes anything Ammonium based. When it comes to mineral-based items such as magnesium, potassium, or sodium, it’s completely compatible with them as well.

Alcohols are no different. Whether they are benzyl, methanol, or ethanol based, it doesn’t matter as they won’t cause any corrosion that might happen with different chemicals. Likewise, any type of metallic-based plastic will also not cause a reaction, so it will be quite inert whether you use copper, chromium, gold, lead, zinc, or tin (just to name a few).

Then we can look at oils and fats. Polypropylene chemical compatibility continues to shine here, with no issues when it comes to items such as silicone oil or transformer oil. Wax is also part of this, so tallow or white paraffin and similar items cause no issues. Starch, sugars and syrups, gelatine, glycerine, glucose, and many other bio-based products (even human waste urea) also have polypropylene chemical compatibility.

What about chemicals polypropylene isn’t resistant to?

With such a large list of polypropylene chemical compatibility options out there, it may be better to also take a look at what polypropylene isn’t resistant to. While the list is small and typically reserved for highly specialized items, it’s still a good idea to know what they are. The list starts with items with powerful oxidizing properties, such as petroleum or gas, at higher temperatures. Some solvents, such as acetone or turpentine, are also added to the list, so make sure to be wary about combining the two as you could be regretting it.

If you’re looking for one of the least compatible items, then it’s going to be nitric acid. Unfortunately, even a 50/50 solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid will eliminate the compatibility of sulfuric acid with polypropylene.

In the end

However, more often than not, especially when looking for food-grade plastics, polypropylene is one of the most inert and thus safest products that can be used as a food-safe container, as well as be in contact with us without any side effects.