What is ABS?

ABS or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a thermoplastic polymer that is created by polymerizing styrene (an organic compound) and acrylonitrile (an organic compound, too) in presence of a synthetic rubber called polybutadiene.

Each component gives specific characteristics to this kind of plastic: the styrene makes it shiny, whilst the polybutadiene make it tough at both low and high temperatures. These properties make ABS usable almost for everything since it can be used between – 20 and 80°C, and it is also a very strong and resistant material.

Italian companies can buy extruded ABS products from Plasticol, one of the biggest business when it comes to plastic extrusion, especially in the northern part of the country. Our firm has 12 extrusion lines, each one dedicated to a specific material, such as ABS and PVC; for this reason, we can create any sort of plastic product, from gaskets to pipes, from cables to sheets.

Properties and applications

ABS is a pretty tough and resistant type of plastic, although its basic characteristics can be changed through the use of some additives or by changing the styrene and acrylonitrile ratio. It’s known that the stability under load of ABS is great when the load is limited and that its impact resistance decreases, even if just slightly, at lower temperatures.

Even the methods used in manufacturing the final products can change some of ABS’s characteristics. For example, if molded at high temperatures it gets more heat resistant, but if molded at low temperatures it gets more impact resistant and stronger.

The material is also unaffected by most liquids, them being water or phosphoric acids, whereas it breaks if touched by sulfuric and nitric acids. Also, ABS isn’t affected by temperature or humidity changes: this makes it perfect as a material to manufacture electric cables. This plastic polymer gets affected by hot flames and by the sun light, though.

ABS is used to manufacture pipes systems, enclosures for electronic components, some kitchen and medical supplies and even toys such as Legos. Due to its high shock absorbance power, it is used in the creation of golf club heads. It’s even used as a base for tattoos’ ink and 3D printers!

Extruded ABS products: extrusion process

The manufacturing process of extruded ABS products it’s pretty simple: the plastic beads enter the extruder and they melt as a result of the heat generated by the friction between them and the machinery. The melted plastic is then pushed into a specific mold based on the requests of the client.

Pigments can also be added to change the colour of the plastics in Plasticol’s factory, and the ABS final products can also be printed on to specify their uses or their characteristics.

To learn more about Plasticol’s ABS products contact us.

Via San Carlo 35
21017- Samarate (VA)
Phone: (+39) 0331 234 212
Fax: (+39) 0331 235 108
Email: info@plasticol.it