All you need to know about high impact polystyrene


Plastic finds a multitude of uses in every industry, from small plastic bottles to plastic tubing. The multifaceted application of plastic has made it one of the most sought-after materials for the manufacturing industry. Plastic that we use varies based on the type of product we want to create. In this blog, we are going to highlighthigh impact polystyrene and its key features.

High impact polystyrene or HIPS is a low-cost thermoplastic. It is easy to mould this plastic and give it the desired shape. Thus making it a perfect choice for the fabrication industry. It is used for making countertop purchase displays or for indoor signs. These have become a popular choice for even the construction and interior works.

Unique facts about high impact polystyrene:

  • It is an amorphous polymer – Polymers exist in two forms in the solid-state: amorphous and semi-crystalline. The latter is more structured and organized; the amorphous polymers are not so organized. HIPS is an isotropic inflow. It means that they shrink uniformly in the direction of the flow and transverse to the flow. This results in lesser warping.  
  • It offers a good printable substrate – There is a special reason why HIPS is used for packaging. It can be easily decorated using different types of printing technique. It is also compatible with treatment which reduces its adhesions to the plastic hence is fit to be used for packaging purpose. The additional property of HIPS is that it is easy to customize; you can colour it and give it the desired look. Also, its flexibility makes it suitable to mould it into different shapes. 

This plastic finds use in creating:

1. Printed graphics

2. Thermoformed machine housing 

3. Models and prototypes

4. Kiosks

5. Shelves

6. Fixtures

7. Printed graphics

Major applications of HIPS:

HIPS is malleable, and it can be easily moulded into the desired shape when required. Since this is easy to engineer material, it becomes a popular choice in different industries. The following segment highlights the details of the same: 

HIPS in food packaging:

Food packaging is a key area where you can find the use of HIPS. It is used to create packaging for:

1. Dairy products

2. Egg cartons

3. Consumer packaging

4. Industrial packaging

5. Meat trays and more

Since this is a recyclable material, HIPS has become a popular choice in the food packaging industry. 

Key reasons why HIPS is a good choice for food packaging:

1. It is a cost-effective option

2. Highly versatile 

3. Safe for food storage

4. Recyclable material

5. Sturdy and strong 

6. It is FDA compliant material

HIPS in electronics & appliances packaging:

The next segment where HIPS is popularly used is electronics and appliance packaging. All the electrical appliances like TV housings, computer housings and refrigerator liners appliances make use of HIPS. You can find your CD covers made of this material.

Key features that make HIPS a popular choice for electronics & appliances packaging:

1. It is a cost-effective packaging material

2. Easy to process

3. Good finishing

4. Higher strength 

HIPS Applications in healthcare / Medical Applications

HIPS also finds use in the medical appliance and healthcare segment. It is used for making:

1. Petri dishes

2. Waste canister and more 

Key features that make HIPS a popular choice for medical applications:

1. HIPS is a cost-effective option

2. It is easy to process 

3. Transparent material that aids proper assessment

With all these uses, we can conclude that it is a highly useful material that finds application in different fields. Plastic will continue to find application in our life because of the above mentioned reasons. High impact polystyrene is one such material; it is recyclable, easy to mould and most importantly, a cost-effective material, thereby ensuring its multiple uses. You will not have to worry much as you start to invest in these.

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