Key facts you may not have known about Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a plastic material used in injection moulding. As its name might suggest, it is made up of three different materials – acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. This combination makes the plastic very strong with excellent resistance to impacts and other desirable properties. The Acrylonitrile provides high chemical and heat resistance. Butadiene is tough and strong. Styrene adds rigidity and processability.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is also relatively low-cost, making it a popular option for manufacturing methods like injection moulding. It also offers good resistance to heat (its melting point is 221 degrees Fahrenheit) and maintains its dimensional stability at lower temperatures. So, what else is important to know about this popular, versatile plastic material? Here are some more key facts to discover.

Four facts about Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plays well with others and can be used in a wide range of manufacturing processes.  

ABS is often used with other materials to create strong, resilient products that also contain the good qualities of the other plastics used. Different plastic layers are added to the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) in a process called co-extrusion. For example, ABS can be combined with Polymethyl Methacrylate, or PMMA, to achieve enhanced UV resistance for outdoor products. Another common combination is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) – often used for low-temperature applications, such as water pipes and trims and mouldings for freezer cabinets and cold store rooms.

As well as plastic injection moulding, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a popular material for other manufacturing processes. These include welding, gluing, laser cutting and thermoforming. It can be cut to precise shapes and sizes, coloured to match the rest of a product or to reflect company branding and used for prototypes, due to its flexibility and low cost in both large and small volume projects

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)’s structural soundness makes it ideal for multiple applications

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is commonly used across many different sectors, from domestic to automotive; construction to retail. It has ideal properties for many different applications within each sector. For example, its rigid and sturdy structure, combined with its toughness and durability make it perfect for automotive body parts, electronic housings, pipe fittings – and even toy bricks and musical instruments.

It is resistant to corrosive chemicals too, making it ideal for factory machinery components and chemical storage applications. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is customisable and highly versatile when it comes to colour, shape and design.

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) can be recycled

Many manufacturers and customers are placing sustainability higher and higher up their list of priorities. Once again, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is an ideal material to meet this laudable aim. Not only is it build to last, with its sturdy structure and durability meaning that it won’t need to be replaced or upgraded for a long time, but it is recyclable too. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic. This means that it can be melted back down to liquid form even after it has been turned into a rigid component by plastic injection moulding process

 So, after the item that has been made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) has served its purpose. It can be ground down, reprocessed and turned into something else. This keeps more plastic out of landfill. It also cuts down on the need to produce new batches of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) from scratch to service additional manufacturing projects.

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is perfectly safe and FDA certified.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is considered to be a safe plastic, as it is non-toxic, with no known adverse health effects reported as a result of long exposure to the material. The plastic does not leach, nor is it carcinogenic. It is considered safe enough to be used in the manufacture of children’s toys and other products.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is also biocompatible, so can be safely used in medical applications like drug delivery systems, nebulisers and equipment housings, although not for medical implants. The material has been FDC certified (US Food and Drug Administration). This adds reassurance when manufacturing kitchen appliances, utensils and packaging for food and beverages (frozen and room temperature).