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High impact polystyrene (HIPS) was discovered by Charles F. Fryling in 1961.
HIPS is a low cost, plastic material that is easy to fabricate and often used for low strength structural applications when impact resistance, machinability, and low cost are required.
Its major applications include machined prototypes, low-strength structural components, housings, and covers. In order to produce the graft polymer, polybutadiene (rubber) or any similar elastomeric polymer is dissolved in styrene and polymerized. This reaction allows for two simultaneous polymerizations, that of styrene to polystyrene and that of the graft polymerization of styrene-rubber.
During commercial use, it can be prepared by graft copolymerization with additional polymer to give the product specific characteristics. The advantages of HIPS includes:
Good impact resistance
Good dimensional stability
Easy to paint and glue
Excellent aesthetic qualities
New properties as a result of grafting
By grafting polymers onto polymer backbones, the final grafted copolymers gain new properties from their parent polymers. Specifically, cellulose graft copolymers have various different applications that are dependent on the structure of the polymer grafted onto the cellulose.
Some of the new properties that cellulose gains from different monomers grafted onto it include:
Absorption of water
Dye adsorption capabilities
These properties give new application to the ungrafted cellulose polymers that include:
Medical body fluid absorbent materials
Enhanced moisture absorbing ability in fabrics
Stronger nucleating properties than ungrafted cellulose, and adsorption of hazardous contaminants like heavy metal ions or dyes from aqueous solutions by temperature swing adsorption
Sensors and optical materials
Reducing agents for various carbonyl compounds