The first ABS profiles were mechanical mixtures of Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene. Later on, the compounds were mixed during the polymerization process. With this adaption of the process, the ground was laid to further the development of ABS. ABS polymers have gained a solid position among the more economical plastics and the more expensive special plastics. Especially in household appliances, computers, and the automobile industry ABS obtained a vital status. The heat resistant qualities of ABS of up to 100⁰ C (212⁰ F) combined with its strong impact resistance even in temperatures of -40⁰ C (-40⁰ F) makes ABS a versatile plastic for many purposes. Suitcases, sporting goods, safety helmets, and toys are often made from ABS.
ABS profiles are frequently used in:
ABS is a sturdy plastic, it is impact resistant and also resistant to high temperatures. ABS can be easily molded through an extrusion and injection molding (die-casting), while the chemical resistance nearly equals polystyrene. All styrene compounds, including ABS, are easy to glue. Welding is also possible by mirror- and ultrasonic welding.
ABS is renowned for its smooth and hard surface and its bright and brilliant colors. Without the addition of anti-oxidizers, weather resistance is rather low. For this purpose, ASA plastics are a better option.
Without additives, ABS plastic is flammable and will burn with a sooty flame, without dripping.
ABS is a plastic that, due to its high amount of butadiene is not weatherproof. A protective layer of lacquer increases the lightfastness substantially. Typically, acrylic finishes are used for ABS plastic. Be aware that ABS is vulnerable to solvents. Chemicals can seriously decrease the impact resistance of ABS; only carefully selected solutions may be used. Testing the solution on ABS is the best way to establish the suitability of the product.
ABS is best welded by heat or ultrasonic waves. The modest dielectric loss renders high-frequency welding unfeasible.
ABS is not chemically resistant to solvents and concentrated acids. It is, however, resistant to water, diluted acids, alkalis, saline solutions, gasoline, mineral oils, and grease.
ABS is well suitable to bond with other thermoplastics. Among those are co-, tri- and quad extrusions. Next to the bonding with natural ABS, like with different coloring, it also bonds well with Hard PVC, PMMA, thermoplastic rubbers (SBS, SEBS, and TPU).