Commodity Plastic Material

Commodity plastics are plastics that are used in high volume and in a wide range of applications. A commodity resin is classified as such for a few different reasons. First, the amount produced yearly and second whether its application requires specific mechanical or special properties.

What makes a Polymer a Commodity Plastic?

Commodity polymers, also known as commodity plastics, are produced in high volumes and make up most plastics a person would encounter daily, but they typically do not have the outstanding mechanical properties that engineering-grade materials have. Moreover, because of the high production volumes, commodity-grade materials are significantly less costly than engineering-grade materials.

At HiTech, we use commodity-grade materials for many of the parts we produce including for our customers in the Sporting Goods, Irrigation, Construction, and Consumer Electronics industries. In general, we recommend the lowest cost material that can acheive the highest quality injection molded parts based on customer specifications.

Examples of commodity polymers and plastics include Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene(PP), Polystyrene (PS and GPPS- General Purpose Polystyrene.)

Molding with Polyethylene

Polyethylene (PE) is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic and like the PP is in the polyolefin family. You can find PE in 3 primary categories: Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Each category is different and ranges from flexible to rigid, low impact to unbreakable. Combined, PE is the most widely used plastic today. Since the variations in types of Polyethylene are many, PE can be altered to fit almost any industry. Common uses are in Packaging, the Pipe Industry, Irrigation, and the Toy Industry.

Molding with PP

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic in the polyolefin family. Polypropylene comes in numerous variations and appearances, namely, Homopolymer PP, Random Copolymer PP which exhibits improved clarity, and Block Copolymer which has a better impact. PP can be manufactured easily with different additives and materials to create compounded variations of PP to be applied to specific applications. Uses for Polypropylene are numerous and found in many everyday items such as Consumer Goods, Sporting Goods, and Irrigation product. Specific products utilizing PP commodity plastic at HiTech are irrigation parts, housings for lighting, and jewel boxes for storing CD’s, DVD’s, and crafts.

Molding with Polystyrene

Polystyrene (PS) is an inexpensive thermoplastic commodity plastic that is easy to process and possesses good optical clarity, high gloss, good dimensional stability, and rigidity. When synthetic rubber is added to general purpose PS, the material is altered to a high impact state, and adds strength to the impact properties. Because of its affordable price point, PS has been used in hundreds of applications and in countless industries, particularly in the disposable market. With its crystal clarity and appearance, it is a highly desirable material in higher end applications such as housewares, toys, displays, and disposable household goods.

Molding with ABS

One of the most commonly used commodity plastic materials in Plastic Injection Molding is ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. ABS is a low cost engineering plastic that is easy to machine and fabricates. ABS is an ideal material for structural applications when impact resistance, strength, and stiffness are required. Furthermore, parts made with ABS exhibit good resistance to scratching and rigidity with excellent dimensional stability. ABS also works in conjunction with metal coatings as they adhere strongly to this material. It is widely used for machining pre-production prototypes since it has excellent dimensional stability and is easy to paint and glue. Natural (beige) ABS and black ABS are FDA compliant for use in food processing applications. The following physical property information is based on typical values of the base acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene resin.


  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Good machinability
  • Excellent aesthetic qualities
  • Easy to paint and glue
  • Good strength and stiffness
  • Relatively low cost

ABS is used in a wide range of industrial applications, such as:

Molding of HIPS (High Impact Polystrene)

HIPS is a low cost, tough commodity plastic material that is easy to thermoform and fabricate. In HIPS, rubber exists in discrete droplets within the polystyrene matrix. That small amount of rubber can reduce crack propagation and fracture in the final molded part. It has outstanding thermoforming characteristics, high impact strength, good machinability and is available in a wide variety of colors and textures. Features include excellent mechanical properties, transparency, heat resistance and coloration. It is a non-toxic resin that generates only a small amount of gas during the molding process. It also is known for its scratch resistance and fluidity. HIPS has superior elongation and impact strength.

At HiTech Plastics and Molds HIPS is used in an assortment of plastic injection molded parts including irrigation parts and can be used as is or as a regrind.

At HiTech Plastics and Molds, we take pride in the experience we have in the injection molding business. We are committed to providing our customers with plastic parts which meet your exact specifications and as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Choosing the correct material for your product design is of utmost importance and with our team of tool makers, engineers, and resin supplier partners, we will help the customer in that process.

Commodity Plastic Molding Services

HiTech Plastics and Molds is a custom injection plastic manufacturer focused on plastic injection molding and mold making. Our team gets involved from the ground up to help you create a molding solution that takes maximum advantage of our processes. We work with your tooling budget to create a custom mold that meets your design needs and are committed to delivering high-quality molds and products on schedule.

Your Trusted Commodity Plastics Experts

For your next injection molding project, please contact our sales team 818-477-2777 or for general questions or fill out RFQ and submit information to expedite response.