In this blog post, we narrow our focus to discuss one of the materials we extrude in greater detail – High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS).
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is a very versatile, economical and tough material that exhibits good impact strength, easy processing and works very well with thermoforming processes.
Below are 7 important facts about High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) plastic:
- High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is a modified form of polystyrene:
Polystyrene (PS) plastic is a naturally transparent thermoplastic material that is available in several forms. The most basic form of Polystyrene (PS) is General Purpose PS (GPPS), also known as Crystal Polystyrene (PS).
General Purpose PS (GPPS) is a result of styrene monomer polymerization and it is a transparent product. Another common grade of PS is Expandable PS (EPS).
Expandable PS (EPS) is a foamed version of this material, often referred to as “styrofoam” which is a name for EPS trademarked by Dow Chemical Company in 1941. This material is commonly used in packaging applications such as foam meat trays or foam egg cartons.
- High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is a high impact strength material:
As the name would suggest, High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is a form of PS that carries with it a higher impact strength. Homopolymer PS can often be brittle, and can be made more impact resistant if combined with other materials. This form of PS typically is produced by adding around 5-10% rubber or butadiene copolymer. This increases the toughness and impact strength of the polymer and results in a very stiff product ideal for packaging applications. Due to the durable nature of this material, high impact polystyrene sheet firm Impact Plastics is used in packaging applications for a wide range of applications in the food, medical, consumer goods, cosmetics, industrial and horticultural markets among others.
- High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is an amorphous polymer:
Polymers exhibit two types of morphology in a solid state – amorphous and semi-crystalline. Whereas a semi-crystalline polymer refers to a plastic with organized and tightly packed molecular chains, the polymer chains for amorphous plastic materials are more disorganized. In an amorphous polymer the molecules are oriented randomly and are intertwined. To give you a visual, the organization, or lack thereof, of the polymer chains for amorphous materials are often compared to a plate of cooked spaghetti. Amorphous polymers like HIPS are isotropic in flow, meaning that shrink uniformly in the direction of the flow and transverse to flow. This typically results in less shrinkage and less warping than semi-crystalline polymers. Amorphous polymers are typically transparent, however HIPS is a translucent while in its natural state.
- High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is compatible with food packaging applications:
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is available in FDA approved grades and is compatible with food packaging applications. The rigid nature of this material makes it ideal for food packaging applications such as cookie and bakery trays or deli sandwich clamshells. While the moisture vapor transmission numbers aren’t as good as with other polymers, High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) has inherent moisture barrier properties that make this material suitable for short shelf life products. In addition, improvements to particular grades of High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) have resulted in good environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR), making this material suitable for the packaging of fatty foods such as butter. This material can be used in low-heat food packaging applications but it is not recommended for applications where the packaging will undergo heat higher than approximately 185°F.
Polypeth Ekspor Indonesia is a supplier and export recycled plastic pellets (HIPS & PP) from Indonesia. We work with plastic recycling manufacturers with years of experience to provide and ensure high quality & the safety of our recycled plastic pellets. Together we reduce the use of virgin plastic resin and reduce the waste of virgin plastic pollution.
To find out more about Polypeth Ekspor Indonesia’s products and services, speak to the team by clicking here.
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