Plastic extrusion materials > HIPS

Northland Plastics extrudes standard and custom profiles using HIPS (high impact polystyrene). We work with several HIPS compounds used in commercial and industrial applications, including flame retardant grades, antistatic, weathering resistant, food grade and others.

We manufacture extruded HIPS profiles, rods and tubing as well as more complex products requiring fabrication and assembly. Our in-house secondary services and tooling capabilities reduce cost and shorten lead times. Contact Northland Plastics for a free quote on HIPS extrusion:

What is High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)?

High impact polystyrene is a variation of general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) that has synthetic rubber (polybutadiene) added, making it less brittle and more impact resistant.

HIPS is a thermoplastic material with a low melting point which is ideal for low-heat manufacturing processes and uses. HIPS is a tough and budget-friendly plastic found in many different parts and products.

In its raw form HIPS is opaque and whitish with a matte finish.

HIPS Material Properties

Extrusion grade HIPS balances rigidity with impact resistance and is one of the lowest-cost thermoplastics.

Advantages of HIPS:

  • Low cost
  • Low melting point
  • Easy to process
  • Easy to manufacture
  • Easy to fabricate
  • Easily painted/glued/printed
  • Tough and rigid
  • Good impact resistance

Disadvantages of HIPS:

  • Not waterproof (low moisture absorption)
  • Poor chemical resistance
  • Poor UV resistance
  • Not suitable for high-temperature environments

Some grades of HIPS are created for specific applications, for example FDA compliant grades. Additives can be used to enhance electrical or UV resistance, improve flame retardancy and more.

HIPS Profile Applications

HIPS is a versatile plastic material frequently used to make pre-production prototypes because of its easy manufacturability. Common parts and products made from extruded HIPS profiles include:

  • Edging & trim
  • U-channels
  • J-channels
  • T-sections
  • H-channels
  • C-channels
  • Tubes (round/square)
  • Rods
  • Interior partitions
  • Merchandising props
  • Luggage parts
  • Automotive components
  • Appliance components
  • Furniture components
  • Household products
  • Prototypes
  • Machine guards/guides
  • AV equipment parts

HIPS is a solid choice for low-strength structural applications where impact resistance is required.


high impact polystyrene uses

HIPS is a thermoplastic compound with the rigidity of polystyrene plus impact resistance from rubber additives.

HIPS and ABS are both thermoplastic materials. HIPS is polystyrene with around 5-10% polybutadiene. ABS is a combination of three plastics: acrylonitrile, polybutadiene and styrene.

HIPS and ABS have many similar properties:

  • Low cost
  • Low melting point
  • Tough & impact resistant
  • Easily manufactured/fabricated
  • Easily colored/painted/printed
  • Recyclable

HIPS and ABS also have a few differences:

  • HIPS costs less than ABS
  • HIPS is more brittle than ABS, which has slightly higher impact resistance
  • ABS has better chemical resistance
  • ABS is more easily damaged with UV exposure

Unsure whether HIPS or ABS is best for your project? We’re happy to help you select the most appropriate and cost-effective material. Contact Northland Plastics with any questions.

HIPS Plastic Recycling

HIPS is 100% recyclable and has a recycling number (resin code) of 6. HIPS is non-toxic, odorless and doesn’t pose a threat to health or the environment when disposed of responsibly.

Northland Plastics is committed to business practices that help protect the environment. Our engineers can assist you in selecting a plastic that is environmentally sustainable and meets your needs.

HIPS Extrusion Manufacturer

Northland Plastics manufactures standard and custom HIPS profile extrusions in our vertically integrated facility. We offer in-house die & tooling production and a full range of fabrication services. Our goal is to exceed the expectations of customers both large and small with proactive customer support, short lead times and on-time delivery. We’ve also helped many customers reduce costs through improved design and alternate materials.

Contact Northland Plastics today for a free HIPS extrusion quote or more information.