ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic is a thermoplastic polymer often used in the injection molding process. It is one of the most common plastics used in OEM part production and 3D print manufacturing. The chemical properties of ABS plastic allows it to have a relatively low melting point and a low glass transition temperature, meaning it can be easily melted down and molded into different shapes during the injection molding process. ABS can be repeatedly melted down and reshaped without significant chemical degradation, meaning the plastic is recyclable.
ABS is a terpolymer made by polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene. The proportions can vary from 15% to 35% acrylonitrile, 5% to 30% butadiene and 40% to 60% styrene. The result is a long chain of polybutadiene criss-crossed with shorter chains of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile). The nitrile groups from neighboring chains, being polar, attract each other and bind the chains together, making ABS stronger than pure polystyrene. The acrylonitrile also contributes chemical resistance, fatigue resistance, hardness, and rigidity, while increasing the heat deflection temperature. The styrene gives the plastic a shiny, impervious surface, as well as hardness, rigidity, and improved processing ease.
ABS is the preferred engineering plastic when it comes to dealing with automotive applications. There has been an increasing focus on weight reduction in automotive. Being a great substitute to metals, ABS has been extensively used in manufacturing automotive parts.
Used of ABS in appliances include appliance control panels, housings (shavers, vacuum cleaners, food processors), refrigerator liners, etc. Household and consumer goods are the major applications of ABS. Keyboard keycaps are commonly made out of ABS.
Pipes and fittings
made from ABS are widely used as they are easier to install and do not rot, rust or corrode. Under proper handling, they withstand earth loads and shipping & can also resist mechanical damage, even at low temperatures.