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Polystyrene Pad Printing & Decorating Services

At Unique Assembly & Decorating, we are the leading provider of product decorating services for rigid polystyrene plastic products. With over 25 years of experience, we aim to provide the best quality results offering a wide range of printing and decorating services. Our dedication to our customers motivates us to complete the most complex projects in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. We work with a range of customers, including contract manufacturers, OEMs, injection molders, and product manufacturers severing a variety of industries. One of the most common materials we are asked to print or decorate is Polystyrene.

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What is Polystyrene (HIPS)?

Polystyrene, or High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), is a versatile plastic that is low cost and easily thermoformed or fabricated. A synthetic hydrocarbon polymer, polystyrene can be solid or foamed. General-purpose polystyrene is clear, hard, brittle or rigid. When combined with various colorants, additives or other plastics, polystyrene is used to make a wide variety of consumer products; such as, appliances, electronics, automobile parts, toys, food packaging, equipment and more.

Printing & Decorating on Polystyrene

Unique Assembly & Design can provide printing services to companies all over the United States. We work with each customer to find a printing or decorating solution for Polystyrene / HIPS products.

Pad Printing

Can you Pad Print on Polystyrene?

Achieves extremely fine detail and tight multicolor registration.

Pad printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of a 2-dimensional image onto a 3-dimensional object. While just as effective for flat surfaces, this process is most often used for printing on parts that are round, have complex curvature, that are round, have a concave or convex surface, or have recessed or raised areas. 

Pad printing became popular following World War II when watchmakers began printing on the curved surfaces of watch faces. This ability to print on unprintable substrates has turned the pad printing process into a well-established technology and is used today across multiple industries such as medical, cosmetics, electronics, and more.

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Screen Printing

Can you Screen Print on Polystyrene?

The most economical choice for projects that have a single, large image. This process produces very opaque images.

Screen printing is a printing method that allows the transfer of large opaque images onto flat (or relatively flat) and cylindrical plastic, glass, and metal objects. The origins of screen printing date back thousands of years — from early Polynesian natives who forced die through cut-out patterns in banana leaves to decorate cloth, to cave walls found in France and Spain that were decorated by way of stencils and colorant applied with blowpipes, to the Japanese creating intricate designs during the Sung Dynasty (A.D 960-1280). Today, screen printing is used to decorate rigid parts for a variety of industries. 

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Hot Stamping

Can you Hot Stamp on Polystyrene?

Works well for single color images producing very opaque and high gloss images.

Hot stamping (or foil stamping) is a dry process that uses heat and pressure to transfer reflective metallic foil and high gloss opaque colored foil to the part. It is also the process used to decorate raised areas and is also known as tipping. In this process, the pigment or metallic foil is transferred to raised letters or a raised area of a plastic part.

Because hot stamping is a dry process (unlike screen printing or pad printing), decorated parts can easily be bulk packed on-line with fewer concerns about damage to the decorated image -- this can save on packaging and handling costs. Polypropylene and polyethylene parts can typically be hot stamped without pretreatment which provides cost savings over pad printing and screen printing.

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Applications & Processing

Products made with polystyrene come in FDA compliant grades and are recyclable. This plastic maintains strength in high-impact applications and easily moldable. This makes this plastic ideal for injection molding and extrusion projects. Below is a list of common products that use polystyrene:

  • Hot & cold catering boxes
  • TV and audio-visual equipment parts
  • Instrument panels and fittings
  • Gasoline tanks
  • Components for medical devices
  • Chemical bottle packs
  • Computer Housings
  • Automotive seating

If you are unsure of the decorating or printing option that will be best for your project, contact us today and we'll help choose the best option.

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Have Questions?

We have the capabilities to work with companies across the US and are excited to work with you on your upcoming project!

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Unique Assembly & Decorating, Inc.
2550 Wisconsin Ave,
Downers Grove, IL 60515