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High Impact Polystyrene Benefits and Applications

high impact polystyrene Petri Dish made from custom injection molding

High impact polystyrene is a well-known type of thermoplastic favored in injection molding scenarios across a variety of industries.

Its unique blend of durability, texture, and versatility makes it a preferred choice for manufacturing professionals worldwide.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional in the plastics industry or someone interested in understanding this material, this comprehensive guide will offer valuable insights into its benefits and popular applications.

What Is High Impact Polystyrene?

High impact polystyrene is a material used extensively in the plastics industry.

This form of polystyrene is created by adding rubber copolymer, or butadiene, increasing the hardness and strength of the polymer.

Its excellent dimensional stability and ability to be molded into intricate shapes make it a versatile material for a wide range of applications.

In the custom injection molding process, high impact polystyrene is put into a high-pressure injection molding machine to force heated and liquefied polystyrene into a mold, where it cools and hardens into the desired shape.

Benefits of High Impact Polystyrene vs. General Purpose Polystyrene

Using high impact polystyrene for injection molding offers several significant advantages.

General purpose polystyrene, also known as GPPS, is transparent and more brittle polystyrene, but is still used for the creation of robust and long-lasting items. However, high impact polystyrene, often abbreviated as HIPS, is a modified version of polystyrene that can withstand a higher impact without breaking (hence its name).

HIPS is lightweight yet sturdy and more resistant to impact and heat during the injection molding process. It is important to understand that the final product is not as clear or see-through as with the use of general polystyrene.

High impact polystyrene is also very versatile and can be created into a range of thicknesses and shapes, making it an ideal choice for industries that require complex or intricate parts. The flexibility in design possibilities opens up a world of opportunities for businesses to create unique and innovative products.

HIPS is also suitable for color customization through additives, finishes and packaging formulas in just about any color you can dream of.

Popular Applications for High Impact Polystyrene

High impact polystyrene plays a significant role in creating products and packaging for various industries such as food, medical and consumer goods.

Due to the durable nature of this material, one of the key areas of its application is the food industry. High-quality food-grade polystyrene is used in creating a vast array of food packaging products, and containers such as yogurt containers, ice cream tubs, disposable cutlery, or even reusable candy and nut containers, like this, for sustainable packaging.

The pharmaceutical industry also benefits from high impact polystyrene for products like this plastic petri dish that can be used in research facilities and laboratories.

The material is also used for the production of a wide range of consumer goods and household items. For example, products like this square colored box can be used to hide away small items like Q-tips in an aesthetically pleasing way than if they were kept in their original packaging.

Potential for Future Developments

High impact polystyrene’s unique properties, such as durability and versatility, make it a viable candidate for innovative applications. For instance, the rise of sustainable practices within manufacturing circles could see an increase in the recycling and repurposing of high impact polystyrene, bringing about environmentally friendly solutions.

In addition to this, advancements in technology and machinery could lead to more complex and intricate designs in injection molding. The combination of high impact polystyrene’s adaptability with cutting-edge technology could open new doors for its application in industries yet to fully explore plastic molding solutions.

The continuous research and development in the field of plastic injection molding promises a bright future for high impact polystyrene and its myriad of applications.

Pioneer Plastics—Where Quality is A Cornerstone of Operations


As we’ve explored throughout this post, high impact polystyrene offers numerous benefits, from durability to design versatility, making it the preferred choice for diverse applications across multiple industries.

With over 35 years of experience in the field, Pioneer Plastics stands at the forefront of this industry

Our proven track record in delivering quality custom plastic parts and products through this process is evident in the numerous satisfied returning customers.

At Pioneer Plastics, customer service is more than just a promise – it’s a way of doing business. We pride ourselves on responsive and friendly customer service and we always address queries as promptly as possible.

Reach out to Pioneer Plastics today and take the first step towards a successful manufacturing journey.

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