Polystyrene or PS is a thermoplastic that is naturally transparent in appearance. It is used in its two forms – as solid plastic and as rigid foam material. Polystyrene is composed of a single kind of polymer chains therefore it is generally a homo polymer. The monomer styrene combines with itself in continuous chains to form the polystyrene molecule. The chemical formula for polystyrene is (C8H8)N. Its melting temperature varies from 210-249 degree centigrade. Polystyrene can be used as thermoplastic or the thermoset materials.
On melting, the thermoplastic materials can be moulded and reheated when solid again. They can be recycled and reused in other shapes and forms. The thermoset materials on the other hand once melted cannot be recycled again by heating them again. They burn if reheated.
Types of Polystyrene
There are three major classifications of polystyrene: polystyrene foam, polystyrene film, and the regular polystyrene plastic.
The homo polymer polystyrene plastic is quite brittle and cannot be put to use as such. It is thus made resistant to breakage and other conditions. For this it mixed with some other materials to form a copolymer and this copolymer is called High Impact Polystyrene or HIPS.
Properties of High Impact Polystyrene
- Name: High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)
- Molecular formula: (C8H8)N
- Tensile Strength: 3130 PSI
- Flexural Strength: 4620 PSI
- Specific Gravity: 1.04g/cm
- Impact strength: 2.20 ft-lb/in
High Impact Polystyrene
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) is an economical and versatile plastic which is also impact resistant. It is a plastic that is easy to be used in the machine and fabricate into various uses. High Impact Polystyrene is often known for its low strength applications where impact resistance and machinability along with low cost are the crucial properties required during manufacture.
Advantages of High Impact Polystyrene
Impact resistance: HIPS is known for its good impact resistance. This means that it can bear good amount of force over a short period of time.
Machinability: Machinability refers to the property of a material how easily it can be used and cut in the machines. HIPS has good machinability.
Stability: The dimensional stability of the HIPS is quite good in comparison to other polystyrene.
Apart from these, HIPS is easily mouldable into desired shapes and is compliant by the FDA standards. Therfore it can be used in food grade products. Also, HIPS has good shiny appearance and is easy to paint. It also easily recyclable and retains most of its properties even after recycling. The cost of HIPS is also quite low when compared to the quality it offers to us.
Applications of HIPS
- It is used in the manufacturing of the toys, TV, bicycles, and other such products.
- It is also used in the automotive industry in the fitting panels manufacturing.
- It is used in manufacturing the housings and covers for the computers in the offices.
- It is used in manufacturing the coffee and tea drinking cups.