Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

Hi all,

Today during a chat w/ some friends at work we end up at the question, which is the difference between HIPS or Styrene Butadiene Copolymer? I would like to share this question with you people to know also what you think about it.

As far as I know HIPS is made out PS blended or copolymerized w/ a rubber like material (usually Polybutadiene) so I assume that Styrene Butadiene Copolymer is also a HIPS. My concer is, should we define the HIPS only when we have PB particles dispersed on a PS matrix and define Styrene Butadiene Copolymer to the case of a copolymer? Since I arrived from work I'm searching info regarding the subject and I still not 100% sure about this definition.

So, thank you for comments... :)


RE: HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

I have worked extensively with these polymers so I can help you with the answer. HIPS and SBS are not the same.

HIPS, as you stated, is polystyrene with rubber particles (polybutadiene) added to improve impact resistance. The rubber particles scatter light and make the HIPS white where the unfilled polystyrene is transparent.

SBS is a copolymer of styrene and butadiene. Both monomers are incorporated in the same polymer chain so there are no blobs of rubber in a PS matrix. Because SBS is a copolymer with no rubber particles it is transparent (there are no domains there to scatter light).

Examples of an SBS are Kraton, Styrolux and Styroflex. They are often soft elastomeric materials whereas HIPS is rigid because the continuous phase, polystyrene, is rigid.

If you are not a chemist, you can think of it with this analogy. Imagine polystyrene units are red paperclips and butadiene are green paperclips. The HIPS would be strings of green paperclips all balled up and floating in a sea of strings of red paperclips.

In contrast, SBS would be strings of mixed red and green paperclips (red and green in each string, or polymer chain)

Chris DeArmitt

"Knowledge has no value except that which can be gained from its application toward some worthwhile end."
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

RE: HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

A very neat and succinct analogy (yet again)...

Too much time on your hands....



RE: HIPS / Styrene Butadiene Copolymers

Thanks guys. Getting such a response from you fellows inspires me!

Chris DeArmitt

"Knowledge has no value except that which can be gained from its application toward some worthwhile end."
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


White Paper - The Evolving Landscape of Commercial Battery-Powered Trucks
What’s driving the evolving landscape of truck electrification? What are the barriers, motivators and strategies for accelerating the electric transition? What insights and resources are available for today’s design engineers working to achieve industry disruption and evolution? For answers to these and other pertinent questions, read this white paper. Download Now
eBook - Rethink Your PLM
A lot has changed since the 90s. You don't surf the Web using dial-up anymore, so why are you still using a legacy PLM solution that's blocking your ability to innovate? To develop and launch products today, you need a flexible, cloud-based PLM, not a solution that's stuck in the past. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close