Our supply: Special order material
Thickness: Available in 0.25mm
Sheet sizes: 1372×660mm only
Your supply: You can also supply your own HIPS up to 5mm in thickness and any sheet size up to 3000×1500mm
White M/P High Impact Polystyrene Sheet also available in other thicknesses.
White High Impact Polystyrene Sheet is an impact resistant plastic with a Matte finish on both sides. HIPS has a low melting point meaning intricate laser cut details are not advised.
Matte face on either side and is supplied with protective plastics film on one side only. This is because for most applications just one side will be visible and requires protection. The side that is not protected will usually have slight surface markings / scratches. Styrene is quite static meaning dust particles can stick to exposed faces quite easily. These can be cleaned with warm soapy water.
As a standard, we apply protective paper backing to the side that is supplied with no protection to help minimize heat marks. You will need to peel this off when you receive your job.
As a benchmark, we recommend that minimum cut widths be no smaller than the corresponding thickness of the material. For example, if cutting from 2mm HIPS, it’s best not to allow anything less than 2mm in width.
HIPS has a tendency to heat up when being cut which can cause the sheet to melt and warp during the cutting process. Make sure you leave lots of space between each component when nesting – 5mm is a safe distance.
HIPS laser cuts with a polished edge. We achieve this using a high laser frequency (ppi. pulses per inch ) that melts the edge as it cuts. If you look closely it is not entirely smooth and is made up of lots of tiny vertical lines. This is caused by the pulses of the laser.
HIPS is not manufactured for ‘appearance’ engraving specifically but it can be achieved. Our standard setting is a light surface scratching. A small level of contrast will occur – engraved areas will turn slightly glossy. Raster engraving is not advised on thicknesses below 2mm due to the heat causing the material to warp.
If you just require vector engraving / scoring and cutting, we engrave through the plastic film / or applied protective paper backing into the HIPS surface. This helps to protect the surface from heat and scratch marks when cutting also. Vector engraving is usually advised over raster engraving for component labelling and identification purposes.
Deeper engraving effects are not advised on polypropylene. The heat buildup from the laser can cause the material to warp making the engraving less consistent.