The structure development and mechanical properties of blow extruded polypropylene containing β-phase nucleating additives was studied. Quinacridone red and cadmium red were both found to nucleate the β phase in polypropylene, the former being a much more efficient nucleator than the latter. The β-phase spherulites formed in the presence of these nucleating agents were small and extensively volume filled, yielding high crystallinity. The modulus increased 2-3 times, elongation at break decreased, and there was a sharp break point without much yield when the β-phase nucleating agents were added as compared to the pure α-phase polypropylene. © 1997 John Wiley of Sons, Inc.