ABS polymers are amorphous polymers readily synthesised by adding styrene and acrylonitrile to a polybutadiene latex. In the resulting polymer, some styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) is grafted on to the polybutadiene backbone chain while the remainder of the SAN forms a continuous matrix. It is the SAN grafted onto the polymer chains that makes the two phases compatible. This essentially gives ABS its strength and toughness. A wide range of ABS materials can be formulated from different combinations of the above three components.
ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) is a copolymer composed of two copolymers and is one of the most common polymer materials. Styrene and Acrylonitrile form a linear copolymer (SAN) that serves as a matrix. Butadiene and Styrene also form a linear copolymer (BS rubber) which acts as the filler material. The combination of the two copolymers gives ABS an excellent combination of strength, rigidity, and toughness.
ABS has good chemical and stress-cracking resistance to inorganic salt solutions, alkalies, mineral acids (except strong oxidizing acids), and some mineral, vegetable, and animal oils. ABS is easily machined to close tolerances, is tough, dimensionally stable, and may also be thermoformed. Petroleum-based oils, solvents, and paints SHOULD NOT BE USED, as they will cause the material to craze. ABS is also one of the few non-metallic materials which can be readily electroplated (after an electroless plating surface has been applied using a selective etching process).
ABS is an economical, general purpose material used in a wide variety of applications, including: • aircraft interior trim
• cassette holders
• business machine housings
• tote bins and trays
• model building
• water purification equipment
• automotive parts
• laboratory equipment
• household fixtures
Hard for a thermoplastic. Reasonably tough (maintains impact resistance to low temperatures). Easily processed (may be electroplated). Easily bonded. Good gloss surface finish.
Poor solvent and fatigue resistance. Poor UV resistance unless protected. Maximum continuous use temperature approx. 70Â°C ( 160Â°F ). Poor bearing properties (high friction and wear). High smoke evolution.
TYPICAL PROPERTIES of ABS
Density (lb/in³) (g/cm³)
Water Absorption, 24 hrs (%)
Tensile Strength (MPa)
Tensile Modulus (psi)
Tensile Elongation at Break (%)
Flexural Strength (psi)
Flexural Modulus (psi)
Compressive Strength (psi)
Compressive Modulus (psi)
IZOD Notched Impact (ft-lb/in)
Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion
(x 10-5 in./in./°F)
Dielectric Strength (V/mil) short time, 1/8" thick
Dielectric Constant at 60 Hz
Dissipation Factor at 60 Hz
Volume Resistivity (ohm-cm)at 50% RH
NOTE: The information contained herein are typical values intended for
reference and comparison purposes only. They should NOT be used as a basis
for design specifications or quality control. Contact manufacturers for
complete material property datasheets.
All values at 73°F / 23°C unless otherwise noted.