ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is an amorphous and opaque thermoplastic polymer. The term thermoplastic—as opposed to thermoset—relates to how a material reacts to heat. At a particular temperature, such as 221 degrees Fahrenheit in ABS plastic, thermoplastics become liquid. They can be heated to their melting point, cooled, and reheated without deterioration. Instead of burning, thermoplastics such as ABS liquefy, allowing them to be readily used for injection molding and then recycled.
Unlike ABS, thermoset polymers can only be heated once, and the initial heating causes the material to set, resulting in an irreversible chemical transformation. A thermoset material would burn if heated at a high temperature a second time. Because of this property, thermoset materials are poor choices for recycling, making ABS the superior choice in terms of sustainability.
How Is ABS Plastic Made?
The most prevalent method of polymerising ABS is emulsion polymerisation. It is, however, manufactured less often using a proprietary technique called continuous mass polymerisation. Emulsifying is simply the act of combining various components that do not mix well yet come together to form a single result. ABS is manufactured using a proprietary method known as continuous mass polymerisation. Moreover, it is the perfect material option for recycling and repurposing outdated plastics.
Is ABS a Good Option for 3D Printing?
ABS is very resistant to corrosive substances as well as physical forces. It is simple to machine and has a low melting temperature, making it ideal for injection moulding production processes or 3D printing on an FDM machine. ABS is also reasonably priced. Because of its low melting point, it is not usually best in high heat conditions. Because of these properties, the material is utilised in various applications across a wide range of industries.
ABS has a high structural strength, which is why it is utilised in camera housings, protective housings, and packaging. This thermoplastic is an excellent option if you require a cheap, robust, rigid plastic that can withstand external impacts. Furthermore, ABS is generally safe in that it contains no known carcinogens and has no known detrimental health effects when exposed to it. That said, one drawback is that the material is not usually appropriate for medical implants.
Industries Where ABS is Often Used
ABS is used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Its characteristics like resistance to chemicals, heat, and physical impacts make it an excellent material for many goods.
ABS thermoplastic is a fantastic replacement for metals in many automobile components looking for weight reduction aspects. Dashboard components, seat backs, seat belts, door loners, knobs, instrument panels, pillar trim, and other items are often utilised.
Every Day Appliances
Various household appliances and consumer products such as control panels, vacuum cleaner housings, food processor housings, refrigerator liners, and more are often made of ABS. This thermoplastic is one of the finest and most frequently used polymers for making vacuums and vacuum components. ABS plastic sheeting produces stiff parts that are much more durable than any other plastic, and it is available in black, white, and custom colours. This type of sheeting also features a textured hair-cell surface that conceals and resists scratches, making it suitable for heavy-duty usage.
ABS is used to produce prototypes, particularly in the machining sector, since it is readily moulded compared to other polymers. Plastic sheets made of this thermoplastic are more straightforward to paint than similar materials and provide a clean aesthetic surface for prototypes. ABS plastic is also more cost-effective for producing temporary prototypes due to its cheap cost.
Professional 3D printing often uses ABS due to its low melting point. 3D printing experts prefer ABS plastic sheets over PLA plastic sheets because the latter has a lower melting point, making it harder to store in warmer circumstances. ABS is also considerably more potent and less brittle than PLA.
ABS plastic is also one of the most affordable, sustainable, and reliable materials on the market today. It is much less costly than other common production polymers like polycarbonate, making it suitable for big runs of consumer electronics and other projects that closely monitor material costs.
At 3D Quick Printing, we choose ABS plastic to give you a sustainable and high-impact resistance product that will cater to your needs. Contact us today to start working on your next project and have the best 3D printing service in the UK you can have!