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Polypropylene vs. Nylon: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 31, 2024
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in a variety of applications, known for its chemical resistance, while nylon is a synthetic polymer, notable for its strength and elasticity.

Key Differences

Polypropylene is a polymer made from the propylene monomer, known for its resistance to chemicals and fatigue. Nylon, a polyamide, is made from diamines and dicarboxylic acids, offering high strength and thermal resistance.
Polypropylene has excellent chemical resistance and is less prone to water absorption, making it ideal for containers and chemical equipment. Nylon is more resistant to abrasion and is used in products requiring high durability, like gears and bearings.
Polypropylene is more rigid than nylon, making it suitable for products that require shape retention. Nylon's flexibility and elasticity make it ideal for clothing, ropes, and threads.
Polypropylene is recyclable and often used in sustainable products, but degrades slowly. Nylon production is more energy-intensive and not as easily recyclable, but offers longevity in products.
Polypropylene operates well in higher temperature ranges than nylon, making it suitable for hot-fill products. Nylon, while also heat resistant, can lose strength at higher temperatures.

Comparison Chart

Chemical Structure

Made from propylene monomer.
Polyamide, made from diamines and acids.


Resistant to chemicals, less water absorption.
High abrasion resistance.


More rigid, retains shape.
Flexible and elastic.

Environmental Impact

Recyclable, slow degradation.
More energy-intensive, less recyclable.

Temperature Resistance

Performs well in high temperatures.
Loses strength in high temperatures.

Polypropylene and Nylon Definitions


Polypropylene is a recyclable plastic.
Recycled polypropylene is often used in sustainable packaging.


Nylon is a strong, synthetic polyamide.
The durable climbing rope was made of nylon.


Polypropylene is suitable for high-temperature applications.
Polypropylene was chosen for its heat resistance in microwave containers.


Nylon is known for its elasticity and toughness.
Nylon stockings are popular for their stretch and durability.


Polypropylene is a durable thermoplastic polymer.
The storage containers were made of polypropylene.


Nylon is used in textiles and industrial products.
The lightweight tent was crafted from high-quality nylon.


Polypropylene is used in both household and industrial products.
The outdoor furniture was made from weather-resistant polypropylene.


Nylon is a versatile material for clothing and gear.
The waterproof nylon jacket was perfect for hiking.


Polypropylene is known for its chemical and fatigue resistance.
Polypropylene pipes are ideal for industrial applications.


Nylon resists abrasion and heat.
The gears in the machine were made of heat-resistant nylon.


Any of various thermoplastic polymers of propylene. They are hard and tough, and are used to make molded articles and fibers.


Any of a family of high-strength, resilient synthetic polymers, the molecules of which contain the recurring amide group CONH.


A fabric of fibers made from any of these polymers.


Cloth or yarn made from one of these synthetic materials.


A thermoplastic resin made by the polymerization of propylene, and used for films, fibres, or moulding materials. Also known as polypropene.


A polymer of propylene used as a thermoplastic molding material


What products are made from polypropylene?

Containers, pipes, and outdoor furniture.

What products are made from nylon?

Clothing, ropes, and industrial gears.

Is polypropylene safe for food storage?

Yes, especially in high-temperature conditions.

What is polypropylene?

A thermoplastic polymer used in various applications.

What is nylon?

A synthetic polyamide known for strength and elasticity.

Is polypropylene recyclable?

Yes, it is recyclable.

Is nylon recyclable?

Less easily recyclable than polypropylene.

What is the temperature resistance of nylon?

Loses strength at high temperatures.

Can polypropylene be used in clothing?

Less common, due to its rigidity.

Can nylon be used in clothing?

Yes, widely used in clothing for elasticity.

How does polypropylene affect the environment?

Recyclable, but slow to degrade.

What are the main uses of polypropylene in industry?

Packaging, automotive parts.

What is the temperature resistance of polypropylene?

Good at high temperatures.

Is nylon safe for food storage?

Yes, but less common in food containers.

Is nylon water-resistant?

Yes, but can absorb more water than polypropylene.

What are the main uses of nylon in industry?

Machinery components, fabric.

How does polypropylene react to chemicals?

It has excellent chemical resistance.

How does nylon affect the environment?

More energy-intensive in production.

Is polypropylene water-resistant?

Yes, it has low water absorption.

How does nylon react to chemicals?

Resistant, but less so than polypropylene.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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