Polypropylene: Plastic with a future


This is a classic article from New Scientist’s archive, republished as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations POLYPROPYLENE articles, tubing and film were on show at the international trade fair just held in Milan. Since it was first rumoured that Montecatini’s scientists had succeeded in polymerising propylene, there has been a great deal of speculation about the reactions involved and keen interest in this possible rival to polyethylene. Two major difficulties which hampered the development of the process were instability of the polymer under oxidising conditions and a tendency to crystallise on ageing. These, it seems,
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