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- CATEGORY: HIPS
- TYPE: Pellets
- GRADE/ COLOR: White
- QUANTITY: 20-40 MT
- LOADING WEIGHT: 25 MT
What is PS, and what is it used for?
Polystyrene (PS) is a thermoplastic that is available as a typical solid resin as well as a rigid porous material. PS resins are commonly used in many consumer product applications and are also particularly useful for commercial packaging. ( See more: HIPS Recycled Pellets )
What are the different types of Polystyrene?
The three main types of polystyrene include polystyrene foam, conventional polystyrene resin, and polystyrene film. Among the different types of foam are expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). EPS covers the most well known and popular polystyrene including styrofoam and packaged peanuts. XPS is a higher density foam commonly used in applications such as architectural building models. ( See more: HIPS Regrind )
Some polystyrene resins are copolymers. Typically PS homopolymer is quite brittle and can be made more impact resistant if combined with other materials (known as High Impact Polystyrene, or HIPS copolymer). Polystyrene films can also be vacuum formed and used in packaging applications. Films that can be stretched into oriented polystyrene (OPS) are cheaper to produce (albeit more brittle) than alternatives such as PP.
What are the characteristics of Polystyrene?
Now that we know what it's used for, let's look at some of the key properties of Polystyrene. Polystyrene is usually (but not always) a homopolymer which means that it consists only of styrene monomer combined with itself. Depending on the type of PS it can be classified as a “thermoplastic” or “thermosetting” material. The name is related to how the plastic reacts to heat.
Thermoplastic materials become completely liquid at their melting point (210-249 degrees Celsius in the case of Polystyrene), but they begin to melt at the glass transition (100 degrees Celsius for PS). A key useful property of thermoplastics is that they can be heated to the melting point, cooled, and reheated without significant deterioration. Instead of burning, thermoplastics liquefy, allowing them to be easily injection-molded and then recycled. In contrast, thermoset plastics will not regenerate once they are "set" in solid form.( See more: hips scrap )
In contrast, thermoset plastics can only be heated once (usually during injection molding). The first heating causes the thermoset material to solidify (similar to 2-part epoxy) resulting in an irreversible chemical change. If you try to heat the thermoset resin to high temperature a second time, it will just burn. This characteristic makes thermoset materials a poor recycling candidate.
Why is Polystyrene used so often?
Polystyrene is most useful for its application as a foaming agent. It is a leader in the packaging industry but it also has many uses as a traditional plastic. For many years Polystyrene, or it is commonly referred to as just Styrene, has been used as the standard prototyping material - essentially for the same reasons as we now use ABS. It is inexpensive, readily available, white, and can be glued, sanded, cut, and painted well. The "S" in ABS is Styrene. A lot of longtime engineers and designers in the industry will ask for a Styrene model when they are looking for a quick prototype.( See more: ABS Lump )
We have also seen PS used as a living hinge material (typically polypropylene is best suited for living hinge applications). Typically, PS hinges have more forms of bends that allow the clamshell to bend and unfold. Whether it's technically a living hinge or not, it works great and can be easily bent.