CNC Machining Materials

Polypropylene

At a glance

Processes

CNC Mill
CNC Lathe

Lead Time

As fast as 3 days

Colors

White (semi-clear or opaque)

Tolerance

With drawing: as low as +/- 0.005 mm
No drawing: ISO 2768 medium

Price

$

Applications

Containers, laboratory equipment

About the material

Polypropylene (PP) resists most solvents and chemicals, which makes it a wonderful material to manufacture laboratory equipment and containers for a variety of applications. PP also offers good fatigue strength.

Material Finish

Polypropylene is a semi-clear white color by default, but can also come in opaque white on request.

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm

Min End Mill Size

0.8 mm (0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5 mm (0.02 in)

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [x,y,z] (mill) 152 x 394 mm [d,h] (lathe)

Undercuts

Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter. For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x tool diameter.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

Polypropylene FAQs

What is polypropylene plastic used for?

Polypropylene (PP) resists most solvents and chemicals, which makes it a wonderful material to manufacture laboratory equipment and containers for a variety of applications. PP also offers good fatigue strength.

What are the disadvantages of polypropylene?

The disadvantages of polypropylene are:

  • Its post-cooled resistance to adding coatings such as paint or ink.
  • If the fiber becomes too hot, there is a tendency to break.
  • PP is highly flammable and will melt when exposed to heat. It has a flash point of 260° Celsius.
  • It can often suffer from chain degradation leading to oxidation, which subsequently results in cracks and crazing.
  • It is prone to damage from UV light.

Is polypropylene a medical-grade material?

Yes, Polypropylene is a medical-grade plastic material that is cost effective. It is often used where steam-sterilized medical equipment is necessary. Due to the sterilization and transparent processes, PP has grown in popularity within the medical industry. It’s ability to withstand relatively high temperatures, cleaning agents, solvents, disinfectants, combined with the moderate cost, promises application in this sector for years to come.

Is polypropylene a strong material?

Yes, Polypropylene (PP) can withstand fairly heavy loads, despite being lightweight, and offers good fatigue strength. It also resists most solvents and chemicals, which makes it a suitable material for manufacturing laboratory equipment and containers for a variety of uses.

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