An Amazingly Simple Invention

Sometimes an invention appears that is so simple and useful that it is a mystery as to why it wasn't in common use 50 years ago. I don't know when it was actually invented, but it just came to my attention this morning.

If I describe it carefully, can anyone identify it and its purpose?

What we have is a hollow plastic cylinder, appearing either blue or violet depending on the light.

It is about 3/8th inch in outer diameter and almost 1 inch long. The ring walls are fairly thin, but the piece is completely rigid.

The interior walls are hexagonal in shape for about 90% of their length, with the rest circular.

The exterior walls are almost completely scribed or molded with lengthwise lines with a density maybe three times what you would expect on the edge of a milled coin. The only exception to the scribing is a centered, molded label using up maybe 60% of the length and about 1/4th inch high. The label says 'PPC'.

What is its function?

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