Styrene Sheet, High Impact Polystyrene, H.I.P.S.
This is an industrial grade sheet which is supplied without surface protection, some marks are normally present and should be taken in to account when considering it's final use. The sheet is primarily used for scratch model making where any surface marks are unimportant as they will be painted or covered. If the sheet is vacuum formed any marks tend to vanish during the heating phase.
The top of the sheet has a fine textured feel almost like a sandblasted finish, with the underside having a silk like finish.
We offer the following sheet sizes
A2+ 660mm x 455mm approx
A3+ 455mm x 330mm approx
A4+ 330mm x 225mm approx
A5+ 225mm x 165mm approx
The most common method of cutting is to score the surface with a knife then snap the sheet along the cut line.
The aim is to score the surface not attempting to cut all the way through.
Bandsaws will cut styrene ok, but other forms of powersaw tend to melt the edges due to heat build up.
Thinner sheets can be laser cut, just need to experiment with the settings.
CNC routers can also be used, the settings are critical to avoid melting around the cutter.
Sanding & Shaping
Styrene can be sanded in a similar way to wood, you just need to avoid any build up of heat. Dremel type tools can be used to good effect, drum sanders will remove a lot of material quickly.
Styrene can be drilled you need to take care not to overheat the sheet, as it will melt around the drill bit giving an uneven hole.
Thinner sheets can be punched, using a standard paper punch.
Irregular holes can be cut by hand using a knife, similar to the score and snap method.
Styrene can be glued with most modelling adhesives.
Plastic solvent is a good choice for clean joints. Care should be taken to keep the glue or solvent from going in unwanted areas as it will mark the surface.
Styrene is perfect for vacuum forming, it stretches well and gives good detail.
You can also fold styrene on a hot wire line bender.
Styrene can be painted with most available brands, sprayed or brushed. Being a non porous material oil based paint will be the easiest to apply, but it will also accept acrylic and thick water based paint. It is always best to test first.