Comprehensive Analysis Of ABS Plastics

Comprehensive Analysis Of ABS Plastics

As a thermoplastic engineering material, ABS plastic boasts exceptional physical properties and chemical stability. 

In recent years, the application range of ABS plastic has continuously expanded, transitioning from a marginal material to a mainstream choice in numerous industries. 

In the following content, we will delve deeply into the various characteristics and processing methods of ABS plastic, as well as its diversified applications across various industries.

What Is ABS Plastic?

ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic) is a terpolymer of three monomers: acrylonitrile (A), butadiene (B), and styrene (S).

The relative content of the three monomers can be changed arbitrarily to make a variety of resins.

Plastic ABS resin is currently the largest production, the most widely used polymers.

It will PB, PAN, PS of various properties of organic unity, both tough, hard, rigid phase balance of excellent mechanical properties.

What are the properties of ABS plastic?

Plastic ABS is non-toxic and odorless, with an appearance that is ivory-colored and semi-translucent, or it can be in the form of transparent granules or powder. 

Its density ranges from 1.05 to 1.18 g/cm³, with a shrinkage rate of 0.4% to 0.9%, and a melting temperature range between 217 to 237°C.

ABS plastic combines the common properties of its three components; here are its main characteristics:

Mechanical Properties:

ABS plastic has excellent mechanical properties, with outstanding impact strength, making it usable at extremely low temperatures.

Its creep resistance is higher than that of PSF and PC, but lower than PA and POM.

Thermal Properties:

The thermal deformation temperature of ABS plastic is between 93 to 118°C, which can be increased by about 10°C after annealing treatment.

ABS exhibits a certain degree of toughness at -40°C and can be used within a temperature range of -40 to 100°C.

Electrical Properties:

ABS plastic has good electrical insulation properties and is almost unaffected by temperature, humidity, and frequency, making it usable in most environments.

Chemical Resistance:

ABS plastic is unaffected by water, inorganic salts, alkalis, and a variety of acids, but it is soluble in ketones, aldehydes, and chlorinated hydrocarbons. 

It is susceptible to stress cracking when eroded by glacial acetic acid, vegetable oil, etc.

These attributes make ABS a preferred material for injection molding companies, especially in applications involving the manufacture of precision parts and products with complex shapes.

Processing Methods for ABS Material

ABS can be processed and molded using methods such as injection molding, extrusion, calendering, thermoforming, and blow molding, with injection molding being the most widely used.

Injection Molding: For ABS injection molding, the molding temperature of a screw-type injection machine is set between 160 and 220°C. 

For products requiring high surface gloss, the mold temperature is set between 60 and 80°C, while for general products, it is around 50 to 60°C. 

The injection pressure for thin-walled products is 130 to 150 MPa, and for thick-walled products, it is 60 to 70 MPa.

Extrusion Molding: This is typically used to produce pipes, sheets, films, and profiles. 

The extruder’s length-to-diameter ratio (L/D) is between 18 and 22, with a compression ratio of 2.5 to 83. 

Taking pipe production as an example, the processing conditions for extrusion molding are: barrel temperature of 160 to 180°C and die temperature of 175 to 195°C.

Modified Varieties Of ABS plastic

ABS plastic has excellent compatibility for blending and can be alloyed (co-blended) with various resins, resulting in new variants like PC/ABS, PBT/ABS, and ABS/PVC, thereby gaining new properties and application fields. 

Mixing ABS with PMMA can produce transparent ABS, with a light transmittance rate reaching up to 80%.

ABS/PVC

This blend improves the flame retardancy of ABS while also enhancing tear strength and corrosion resistance. It can be used to produce soft or semi-rigid products.

PC/ABS

This alloy increases the heat resistance of ABS (generally up to around 120°C) and can also appropriately enhance mechanical properties such as strength and hardness, especially offering a significant improvement in impact strength.

ABS/TPU

This alloy combines the impact resistance and wear resistance of TPU with the rigidity, overall performance, and cost-effectiveness of ABS.

Applications for ABS plastic parts

ABS plastic is primarily used in the following areas:

Automotive Parts: Specific items include steering wheels, dashboards, fan blades, mudguards, handles, armrests, etc. 

Dashboards often use PC/ABS as the framework, with a surface covered by a thin film made of PVC/ABS. 

Additionally, a large number of ABS components are used in car interiors, such as glove compartments, storage boxes, door sill decorations, and radiator grilles.

Housing Materials: Widely used in manufacturing the casings of telephones, mobile phones, televisions, washing machines, radios, recorders, photocopiers, fax machines, toys, kitchen utensils, and other products.

Mechanical Parts: Suitable for making gears, pump impellers, bearings, handles, pipes, fittings, battery slots, and the casings of electric tools, among others.

Other Products: Various chemical corrosion-resistant pipes, gold-plated products, stationery, toys, thermal insulation and shock-proof foam plastics, imitation wood products, and more.

How To Choose ABS Plastic Pellets?

When selecting ABS plastic pellets, many people are unsure how to choose and identify their quality due to the numerous manufacturers available. Here are some methods to consider as a reference:

1.Color: Generally, those with some transparency are better than opaque ones, regardless of the color.

2.Gloss: The brighter the gloss, the better. The gloss is inherent to the material itself, much like a person’s skin tone, and refers to the surface color of the recycled material.

3.Burning Test: Light it with a lighter and blow it out after 3 seconds. Smell the smoke to distinguish it from new ABS material. 

Note that colored pigments can produce a strong odor, which may mask some of the scents of recycled ABS granules.

  1. Stretch Test: After extinguishing the flame, quickly touch the molten material with a metal object and then quickly pull away to see if the thread formed is uniform. 

Uniformity indicates good quality. Repeat this several times, overlapping the threads before pulling them apart again to check for elasticity and whether they can be stretched again without breaking. 

Material that does not break or stretches a certain distance before breaking is of good quality.

If you’re still unsure, conduct a burning test again. 

If it produces black smoke quickly during burning or the molten material drips rapidly, it is not of good quality.