Material In Depth: Polypropylene

Laser Cutting Polyproylene
Laser Cutting Polyproylene

Polypropylene is a flexible thermoplastic polymer resin. We stock Promeg® sustainable polypropylene which is made in Australia.

Structural integrity Lightweight and flexible, one side is very slightly textured while reverse has smooth flat finish.
Flexibility Very flexible, great for curves.
Cost $ - Low
Engrave quality / legibility Does not engrave well.
Score quality / legibility Can be scored for a one way fold. Fold bends away from the side that has been scored. TIP: Dot-dash cut for two way fold.
Material burn As it is a polymer, the resin melts when heated by the laser and burn marks do appear. Polypropylene thicker than 1mm can hardens again after laser cutting and areas can reattach. When laser cutting polypropylene, the cut width (the amount the laser takes away when cutting) is generally slightly thicker than on acrylic which is worth nothing when cutting complex artwork. Prolypropylene melts when heated and can result in the sheet to warp or buckle during the cutting process.
Transfer tape recommended? We recommend using our low-tack transfer tape on one or both sides when laser cutting to minimise burn marks. You will need to peel this off when you receive your job. Protective tape can sometimes come unstuck during the cutting process which can cause slight heat marks on the surrounding cut edge surface.
Example uses Great material for prototyping products, templates, moulds, packaging, stencils, lightshades.
Residue / handling Polypropylene doesn’t scratch easily but light coloured polypropylene gets dirty easily. It is also a static material and attracts dust, but can be cleaned with water and a lint free cloth.
Lifespan / longevity N/A
Water Resistance Repels moisture.
Post production options Can be spray painted.
Thicknesses available 0.6mm
(check our materials page for latest stock available)