Monday, February 6, 2012

Polypropylene: Lighter Weight, Lower Fuel Costs

Polypropylene is becoming more popular as a basic material for manufactured products such as bottles where fuel costs are an important part of the total cost. A juice bottle made with polypropylene might cost more than one made with polyethylene, but it weighs less, and for a product like orange juice that might cross half a continent to get from the factory to the end user, the fuel savings are enough for a product designer or an accountant to care about.

Cars also travel long distances, and Ford is using polypropylene, blended with the plant fiber kenaf, to make the new Escape lighter. The interior part of the door is 25 percent lighter with the new design, improving the fuel economy ever so slightly. With transportation costs rising, we are likely to be seeing more polypropylene in our daily lives.