Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

Note: only one typical science note is linked from this example of a CES EduPack Level 2 datasheet, displaying the optional Eco and durability properties. (See also aluminium, which is displayed in the standard level 2 format without optional Eco and durability properties).

Description

THE MATERIAL
ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) is tough, resilient, and easily molded. It is usually opaque, although some grades can now be transparent, and it can be given vivid colors. ABS-PVC alloys are tougher than standard ABS and, in self-extinguishing grades, are used for the casings of power tools.
COMPOSITION
Block terpolymer of acrylonitrile (15-35%), butadiene (5-30%), and Styrene (40-60%).

The picture says a lot: ABS allows detailed moldings, accepts color well, and is non-toxic and tough enough to survive the worst that children can do to it.
GENERAL PROPERTIES
Density
1010
-
1210
kg/m^3
Price
1.47
-
1.62
GPD/kg

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Young's modulus

1.1

2.9

GPa

Shear modulus

0.3189

1.032

GPa

Bulk modulus
3.8
-
4
GPa
Poisson's ratio
0.3908
-
0.422
Yield strength (elastic limit)
18.5
-
51
MPa

Tensile strength

27.6

55.2

MPa

Compressive strength
31
-
86.2
MPa

Elongation

1.5

100

%

Hardness—Vickers

5.6

15.3

HV

Fatigue strength at 10ˆ7 cycles

11.04

22.08

MPa

Fracture toughness
1.186
-
4.289
MP a.m^1/2

Mechanical loss coefficient (tan delta)

0.01379

0.04464

 

 
THERMAL PROPERTIES
Glass temperature
87.85
-
127.9
°C
Maximum service temperature
61.85
-
76.85
°C

Minimum service temperature

-123.2

-

73.15

°C

Thermal conductor or insulator?

Good insulator

Thermal conductivity

0.188

0.335

W/m.°C

Specific heat capacity

1386

1919

J/kg.°C

Thermal expansion coefficient

84.6

234

µstrain/°C

 
ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES

Electrical conductor or insulator?

Good insulator

Electrical Resistivity
3.3e21
-
3e22
µohm.cm
Dielectric constant
(relative permittivity)
2.8
-
3.2
Dissipation factor
(dielectric loss tangent)
3e-3
-
7e-3

Dielectric strength
(dielectric breakdown)

13.8

21.7

1000000 V/m

 
OPTICAL PROPERTIES

Transparency

Opaque

Refractive Index

1.53

1.54

 

 
processability (scale 1=impractical to 5=excellent)

Castability

1

2

Moldability

4

5

Machinability

3

4

Weldability

5

 

 

 
durability: water and aqueous solutions

Water (fresh)

Excellent

Water (salt)

Excellent

Soils, acidic (peat)

Excellent

Soils, alkaline (clay)

Excellent

Wine

Excellent

 
durability: acids

Acetic acid (10%)

Excellent

Acetic acid (glacial)

Unacceptable

Citric acid (10%)

Excellent

Hydrochloric acid (10%)

Excellent

Hydrochloric acid (36%)

Limited use

Hyrdofluroic acid (40%)

Limited use

Nitric acid (10%)

Excellent

Nitric acid (70%)

Unacceptable

Phosphoric acid (10%)

Excellent

Phosphoric acid (85%)

Excellent

Sulfuric acid (10%)

Excellent

Sulfuric acid (70%)

Excellent

 
durability: alkalis

Sodium hydroxide (10%)

Excellent

Sodium hydroxide (60%)

Excellent

 
durability: fuels, oils and solvents
Amyl acetate Unacceptable

Benzene Unacceptable

Carbon tetrachloride Unacceptable

Chloroform Unacceptable

Crude oil Excellent

Diesel oil Excellent

Lubricating oil Excellent

Paraffin oil (kerosene) Excellent

Petrol (gasoline) Excellent

Silicone fluids Excellent

Tolunene Unacceptable

Turpentine Unacceptable

Vegetable oils (general) Excellent

White spirit Excellent

 
durability: alcohols, aldehydes, ketones
Acetaldehyde Unacceptable

Acetone Unacceptable

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) Unacceptable

Ethylene glycol Excellent

Formaldehyde (40%) Excellent

Glycerol Excellent

Methyl alcohol (methanol) Unacceptable

 
durability: halogens and gases
Chlorine gas (dry) Unacceptable

Fluorine (gas) Excellent

O2 (Oxygen gas) Unacceptable

Sulfur dioxide (gas) Unacceptable

 
durability: built environment
Industrial atmosphere Acceptable

Rural atmosphere Excellent

Marine atmosphere Excellent

UV radiation (sunlight) Poor

 
durability: flammability
Flammability Highly flammable

 
durability: thermal environments
Tolerance to cryogenic temperatures Unacceptable

Tolerance up to 150C (302 F) Acceptable

Tolerance up to 250C (482 F) Unacceptable

Tolerance up to 450C (842 F) Unacceptable

Tolerance up to 850C (1562 F) Unacceptable

Tolerance above 850C (1562 F) Unacceptable

 
Geo-economic data for principal component
Annual world production *5.6e6

-

5.7e6

tonne/yr

Reserves * 1.48e8

-

1.5e8

tonne

 
Primary material production: energy, CO2, and water
Embodied energy, primary production * 91

-

102

MJ/kg

CO2 footprint, primary production * 3.27

-

3.62

kg/kg

Water usage *108

-

324

l/kg

Eco-indicator 95 400

millipoints/kg

Eco-indicator 99 352

millipoints/kg

 
Material processing: energy
Polymer extrusion energy * 5.86

-

6.47

MJ/kg

Polymer molding energy * 19.7

-

21.7

MJ/kg

Coarse machining energy (per unit wt removed) * 1

-

1.11

MJ/kg

Fine machining energy (per unit wt removed) * 5.76

-

6.37

MJ/kg

Grinding energy (per unit wt removed) * 11

-

12.2

MJ/kg

 
Material processing: CO2 footprint
Polymer extrusion CO2 * 0.439

-

0.485

kg/kg

Polymer molding CO2 * 1.47

-

1.63

kg/kg

Coarse machining CO2 (per unit wt removed) * 0.0753

-

0.0832

kg/kg

Fine machining CO2 (per unit wt removed) * 0.432

-

0.477

kg/kg

Grinding CO2 (per unit wt removed) * 0.828

-

0.916

kg/kg

 
Material recycling: energy, CO2, and recycle fraction
Recycle TRUE

Embodied energy, recycling * 38

-

43

MJ/Kg

CO2 footprint, recycling * 1.39

-

1.5

kg/kg

Recycle fraction in current supply * 0.5

-

1

%

Downcycle TRUE

Combust for energy recovery TRUE

Heat of combustion (net) * 37.6

-

39.5

MJ/kg

Combustion CO2 * 3.06

-

3.22

kg/kg

Landfill TRUE

Biodegrade FALSE

Toxicity rating Non-toxic

A renewable resource? FALSE

Recycle mark:

Recycle mark for Other Polymers (7)

Environmental notes

The acrylonitrile monomer is nasty stuff, almost as poisonous as cyanide. Once polymerized with styrene it becomes harmless. ABS if FDA compliant, can be recycled, and can be incinerated to recover the energy it contains.

 

Supporting information

Design guidelines

ABS has the highest impact resistance of all polymers. It takes color well. Integral metallics are possible (as in GE Plastics' Magix.) ABS is UV resistant for outdoor application if stabilizers are added. It is hygroscopic (may need to be oven dried before thermoforming) and can be damaged by petroleum-based machining oils. ASA (acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile) has very high gloss; its natural color is off-white but others are available. It has good chemical and temperature resistance and high impact resistance at low temperatures. UL-approved grades are available. SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile) has the good processing attributes of polystyrene but greater strength, stiffness, toughness, and chemical and heat resistance. By adding glass fiber the rigidity can be increased dramatically. It is transparent (over 90% in the visible range but less for UV light) and has good color, depending on the amount of acrylonitrile that is added this can vary from water white to pale yellow, but without a protective coating, sunlight causes yellowing and loss of strength, slowed by UV stabilizers. All three can be extruded, compression molded or formed to sheet that is then vacuum thermo-formed. They can be joined by ultrasonic or hot-plate welding, or bonded with polyester, epoxy, isocyanate or nitrile-phenolic adhesives.

 

Technical notes

ABS is a terpolymer—one made by copolymerizing 3 monomers: acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. The acrylonitrile gives thermal and chemical resistance, rubber-like butadiene gives ductility and strength, the styrene gives a glossy surface, ease of machining and a lower cost. In ASA, the butadiene component (which gives poor UV resistance) is replaced by an acrylic ester. Without the addition of butyl, ABS becomes, SAN—a similar material with lower impact resistance or toughness. It is the stiffest of the thermoplastics and has excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, salts and many solvents.

 

Typical uses

Safety helmets; camper tops; automotive instrument panels and other interior components; pipe fittings; home-security devices and housings for small appliances; communications equipment; business machines; plumbing hardware; automobile grilles; wheel covers; mirror housings; refrigerator liners; luggage shells; tote trays; mower shrouds; boat hulls; large components for recreational vehicles; weather seals; glass beading; refrigerator breaker strips; conduit; pipe for drain-waste-vent (DWV) systems.

 

tradenames

Claradex, Comalloy, Cycogel, Cycolac, Hanalac, Lastilac, Lupos, Lustran ABS, Magnum, Multibase, Novodur, Polyfabs, Polylac, Porene, Ronfalin, Sinkral, Terluran, Toyolac, Tufrex, Ultrastyr

 
Links

Reference

ProcessUniverse

Producers

 

No warranty is given for the accuracy of this data. Values marked * are estimates.