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ABS Material

What is ABS Material?
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a thermoplastic resin commonly used for injection molding applications.  

ABS Plastic is a copolymer of Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene, and generally possess medium strength and performance at medium cost.  ABS is a common thermoplastic resin and can often meet the property requirements at a reasonable price, falling between standard resins (PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, etc.) and engineering resins (acrylic, nylon, acetal, etc.).  ABS is considered the best of the styrenic family. It is tough, hard and rigid and has good chemical resistance and dimensional stability.

ABS is derived from acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Acrylonitrile is a synthetic monomer produced from propylene and ammonia; butadiene is a petroleum hydrocarbon obtained from butane; and styrene monomers, derived from coal, are commercially obtained from benzene and ethylene from coal. The advantage of ABS is that this material combines the strength and rigidity of the acrylonitrile and styrene polymers with the toughness of the polybutadiene rubber. The most amazing mechanical properties of ABS are resistance and toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. The impact resistance can be amplified by increasing the proportions of polybutadiene in relation to styrene and acrylonitrile although this causes changes in other properties. Impact resistance does not fall off rapidly at lower temperatures. Stability under load is excellent with limited loads.

Even though ABS plastics are used largely for mechanical purposes, they also have good electrical properties that are fairly constant over a wide range of frequencies. These properties are little affected by temperature and atmospheric humidity in the acceptable operating range of temperatures. The final properties will be influenced to some extent by the conditions under which the material is processed to the final product; for example, molding at a high temperature improves the gloss and heat resistance of the product whereas the highest impact resistance and strength are obtained by molding at low temperature.

What are the features and limitations of ABS Material?


  • Medium strength
  • Tough, hard and rigid
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Dimensional stability
  • Creep resistant
  • Electroplatable
  • Outstanding formability
  • Very high impact strength
  • High tensile strength and stiffness
  • Excellent high and low temperature performance
  • Resistant to many plasticizers
  • Excellent ductility


  • Poor weatherability

  • Poor solvent resistance

  • High smoke generation when burned

What are the applications for ABS Material?
ABS can be used to make light, rigid, molded products such as piping, musical instruments (most notably recorders and plastic clarinets), golf club heads (used for its good shock absorbance), automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, vballs [reusable paintballs], and toys including LEGO bricks.



What are some of the most common variations of ABS Material?

The most common different types of ABS Resin are:  General Purpose ABS, Low Gloss ABS, High Gloss ABS, High Impact ABS, High Flow ABS (Low Viscosity ABS), and Plateable ABS.



What are some common brand and/or trade names for ABS Material?

  • Samsung Starex 
  • Toray Toyolac
  • BASF Terluran 
  • Sabic Cycolac
  • Ineos Lustran
  • Formosa Tairilac
  • CHI MEI Polylac
  • LG ABS

Report reveals strong demand for engineering plastics

Demand for engineering plastics with specific properties has been higher than for that of common plastics for several years, and the trend is likely to continue, according to a new report. 

Germany-based market research company Ceresana highlighted that almost 20.3 million tonnes of ABS, PC, PA, PMMA, POM, PBT, SAN, and fluoropolymers were sold in 2015.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) was the most frequently used engineering plastic, accounting for about 40% of the total demand, said Ceresana, with more than six million tonnes being processed in 2015 in the Asia-Pacific region alone.

Around 25% of global demand came from each of the largest market sectors of electrical and electronic applications and consumer goods, with the transportation industry being the third largest individual market.

The transportation segment accounts for 35% of polyamide consumption, while consumer goods are the major sales market of ABS.

Ceresana said it expected the highest growth in the upcoming years to come in the transportation market.

Meanwhile at rates of 2.5% and 2.9% per year respectively, applications in the construction industry and in consumer goods were likely to exhibit a weaker development, the research company said.

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