What are the Characteristics of Polypropylene?

Some of the most significant properties of polypropylene are:

  1. Chemical Resistance: Diluted bases and acids don’t react readily with polypropylene, which makes it a good choice for containers of such liquids, such as cleaning agents, first-aid products, and more.  
  2. Elasticity and Toughness: Polypropylene will act with elasticity over a certain range of deflection (like all materials), but it will also experience plastic deformation early on in the deformation process, so it is generally considered a "tough" material. Toughness is an engineering term which is defined as a material's ability to deform (plastically, not elastically) without breaking..
  3. Fatigue Resistance: Polypropylene retains its shape after a lot of torsion, bending, and/or flexing. This property is especially valuable for making living hinges.
  4. Insulation: polypropylene has a very high resistance to electricity and is very useful for electronic components.
  5. Transmissivity: Although Polypropylene can be made transparent, it is normally produced to be naturally opaque in color. Polypropylene can be used for applications where some transfer of light is important or where it is of aesthetic value. If high transmissivity is desired then plastics like Acrylic or Polycarbonate are better choices.

Polypropylene is classified as a “thermoplastic” (as opposed to “thermoset”) material which has to do with the way the plastic responds to heat. Thermoplastic materials become liquid at their melting point (roughly 130 degrees Celsius in the case of polypropylene).

All our Towers & Modular Parts are made from polypropylene, which is generally considered dishwasher-safe – more on that below. When a plastic item is designated dishwasher-safe, this means that it has been treated to withstand the sustained high heat in a dishwasher. It will not melt, warp, or dissolve in a standard home-use dishwasher.

What are the properties of Polypropylene?



Technical Name

Polypropylene (PP)

Chemical Formula

Polypropylene Molecular Composition   (C3H6)n

Resin Identification Code (Used For Recycling)

Polypropylene (PP) Resin Identification Code 5 (For Plastic Recycling Purposes)

Melt Temperature

130°C (266°F)

Typical Injection Mold Temperature

32 - 66 °C (90 - 150 °F) ***

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT)

100 °C (212 °F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI) **

Tensile Strength

32 MPa (4700 PSI) ***

Flexural Strength

41 MPa (6000 PSI) ***

Specific Gravity


Shrink Rate

1.5 - 2.0 % (.015 - .02 in/in) ***