POLYPROPYLENE EXPERT WEIGHS IN ON EXXONMOBIL REFINERY FIRE, SAFETY CONCERNS
POLOPLAST America Manufactures and Sells Polypropylene Products
HOUSTON—Dalton Clark, Business Development Manager at Houston-based POLOPLAST America, will be available to answer questions from the media about polypropylene in the wake of the fire at the ExxonMobil Olefins plant in Baytown, Texas. Numerous reports on Wednesday indicate that the fire broke out in the unit that contains polypropylene (PP) material.
“Obviously, our thoughts are with those who are immediately affected by this tragedy in the city of Baytown,” Mr. Clark said. “I would encourage everyone to follow instructions from officials on the scene and cooperate with first responders and local authorities.”
Mr. Clark has made a career of working with polypropylene (PP) products. As POLOPLAST America’s business development manager, he is in charge of sales, promotion, and customer interaction at one of the world’s largest and most innovative PP-R piping manufacturers.
POLOPLAST America’s products are manufactured in Germany, where no material refined at the ExxonMobil Olefin plant is used.
WHAT IS POLYPROPYLENE?
Polypropylene (PP) is a very common type of plastic used in a wide variety of retail and industrial products, from toys to electronics to automobile products. It’s a popular material with manufacturers because of its cost-efficiency, durability and versatility. POLOPLAST America offers piping systems manufactured from PP-R, a particular strain of the plastic making it longer-lasting and less prone to scaling and corrosion than metal pipes.
WHY IS POLYPROPYLENE FLAMMABLE?
Polypropylene (PP) is a product created by refining crude oil. Like nearly all refined, oil-based products (including most plastics), PP is essentially a hydrocarbon with a flashpoint that will burn when ignited. Unlike some plastics, such as PVC, the finished PP-R Poloplast pipe system does not release gases and toxins that are harmful to humans if aspirated. If finished PP-R burns, the release is hydrogen and carbon atoms and a thick, white smoke that is uncomfortable to breathe but non-toxic.
In the case of this Baytown fire, there is more at play than a finished product. PP is refined using various flammable chemicals that could potentially release toxic gases when burned. Exercise extreme caution, and obey local authorities.
WHAT CONSTITUTES PROPER FIRE SAFETY AROUND PP-R PRODUCTS?
Unlike many other plastic materials, polypropylene is completely non-toxic, even under full combustion, eliminating the threat of dangers smoke and fumes. Nevertheless, polypropylene products should never be exposed to open flame. PP-R products such as piping should always be enclosed or encased in non-flammable material if installed in return air ducting. Always defer to local codes and code officials for proper installation of plastic pipe.
About POLOPLAST America
POLOPLAST America Inc. is a new subsidiary of POLOPLAST GmbH, an international piping- systems leader founded in Germany. In Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere, POLOPLAST products are the premium industry standard for builders who prize cost, life-cycle, sustainability, and operational efficiencies. POLOPLAST America is charged with introducing POLOPLAST’s innovative, German-made polypropylene (PP-R/PP-RCT) pipes and fittings products into the North American marketplace, beginning with the United States. POLOPLAST America is headquartered in Houston, Texas.