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Information @ a Glance


  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS is a common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid, molded products such as pipes, golf club heads , automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, and toys including LEGO bricks.
  • ABS is derived from acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene.
  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is the plastic from which Lego bricks are made.
  • ABS resins are hard, rigid, and tough, even at low temperatures.
  • Various grades of these amorphous, medium-priced thermoplastics are available offering different levels of impact strength, heat resistance, flame retardance, and platability.

Manufacturing Process

  • The three components of ABS can be used in different amounts to generate ABS with different properties.
  • ABS is manufactured in one of three ways - Emulsion polymerization, continuous- mass polymerization, suspension polymerization.
  • Although ABS resins are most commonly associated with injection molding, they can also be blow molded or extruded into sheet for thermoforming applications.
  • Processing the resins is dependent, to a great degree, on the grade of ABS resin being used and on the end-use requirements of the application.


  • Molded ABS products are used in both protective and decorative applications.
  • Its high mechanical strength makes it ideal for use in tough consumer applications Worldwide, the automotive industry is the largest user accounting for 25%-30% of demand.
  • It is also used in the construction industry and for making large recreational products such as boats and mobile homes.
  • ABS resins offer cost-effective processing and increased end-use performance for applications in a variety of market segments, including automotive, small and large appliances, information technology equipment, consumer electronics, building and construction, medical and office furniture.


  • Major markets include appliances and electrical/electronic parts, with lesser use in autos and recreational vehicles, pipe and fittings, and miscellaneous consumer products.
  • Most markets for ABS are mature, but the products continue to find new applications, spearheaded by the replacement of painted parts in end markets such as automotive parts.
  • An important market is the automobile industry with growing use in recreational vehicles.
  • The ABS market has evolved into a general purpose sector, for which cost and productivity are the most important factors, and an engineering plastics sector, which is generating most of the industry’s growth.

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