Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS)

What is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)?

ABS is one of the polymers in the technical thermoplastics group. It is derived from acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene monomers. It is more resistant to chemicals, heat and impact than pure styrene. What is more, ABS is customizable by changing the amount of polybutadiene in the mixture of acrylonitrile and styrene. By increasing it, resistance to impact increases, but other characteristics also change. It is therefore possible to produce a wide variety of ABS products with different characteristics. Two main categories of ABS are ABS for extrusion and ABS for injection moulding. In addition, it could be divided into high impact resistance ABS and medium impact resistance ABS. What is more, further customisation can be achieved with the help of additives: rigidity of a form can be increased by adding glass, while adding polyvinylchloride (PVC) increases fire resistance. ABS is of opaque whitish colour, but could be produced transparent or coloured with the help of additives.


ABS market

Global ABS market in 2015 reached $22 billion and it is forecasted to grow by 5-6 % per annum to 2024- 2025. Global demand for light and rigid, high quality plastics, such as ABS is growing rapidly, because these materials are easier to form into different designs, while their strength is comparable to that of steel. ABS usefulness increased considerably after a chemical process innovation had allowed for better adhesion between the surface of a plastic and metal coating. Such coated plastics, can be applied in a wide range of products in construction, automotive, electrical and electronic industries.

Demand for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles in growing in the developed markets in North America and Europe. Due to its characteristics, ABS is a perfect material for vehicle’s exterior and interior parts, such as bumpers, fenders, panels and handles.

Emerging markets of China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly developing countries in Asia are investing in large capital infrastructure projects. This drives the demand for ABS products such as pipe systems and protective head gear.


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