Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a type of amorphous polymer which finds a wide application across industries owing to its peculiar physical and chemical properties. This engineered thermoplastic material is available in virgin as well as regrind forms and various colors such as natural ivory, black, white, red, mixed, and so on. Being a thermoplastic, it liquefies at the melting point, molded, and then can be cooled for solidification. ABS after cooling can be reheated without resulting in any structural damage. It is produced through mass polymerization as well as emulsion. This material is mostly translucent to entirely opaque. This post discusses ABS resins in and their uses at length.
ABS is basically made of three different monomers. These three different components acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene are decoded in this manner.
- Acrylonitrile is a synthetic monomer made from ammonia and propylene. It offers chemical resistance and temperature stability to ABS as a whole.
- Butadiene is a byproduct of ethylene and it offers impact resistance and sturdiness to the overall ABS polymer.
- Styrene is made by dehydrogenating ethyl benzene. This monomer makes ABS rigid and at the same time flexible enough to undergo processing.
Uses of ABS and Their Reasons
ABS, although available in regrind form, is not one of those widely recyclable plastics. In spite of this factor, it finds plastic component applications across industries because of the many advantages it offers. Here are some pointers:
- ABS resin finds applications in various segments from toys to computers to electronic devices.
- Some other applications of ABS include automotive parts, electrical appliances, pipes, tubing, and hoses.
- This is primarily because ABS can be injection molded, extruded, and reheated without any degradation to its basic properties.
- It is not suitable for high temperature applications because of its low melting point; however, it is suitable for applications where the plastic needs to take the shape of the mold, solidify, and be reheated.
- ABS can be used as an individual resin or in combination with other polymers such as polycarbonate.
- It is suitable for 3D printing and prototyping of components.
- It is flexible in the sense that can be machined, coated, painted, and so on to create aesthetically appealing polished finishes. It offers a good surface quality.
- ABS is cost effective, quite safe to use as it has no carcinogens, and sturdy enough to resist external impacts. This is one reason why it is used in toys.
- ABS is resistant to chemicals, abrasive materials, vibration, and other physical parameters except excess heat.
- Being sturdy, impact resistant, and non-conductor, it is used to make enclosures that house sensitive devices and used in packaging.
- With the chemical formula C8H8·C4H6·C3H3N, ABS is a good insulating materials, robust, and strain resistant.
If you are an OEM manufacturing plastic product or need ABS resins for some of your components, ensure you source from a trusted supplier. Mid Continent Plastics is one of the leading suppliers of ABS resins in virgin as well as regrind varieties. The company has a good market presence for over three decades.