Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) is a copolymer consisting of approximately 50% styrene and between 5 to 30% butadiene rubber. By altering the composition it is possible to strengthen certain properties. This highly impact and scratch resistant material with its attractive shiny surface structure is usable in its pure form in items like domestic appliances, electronic products and office equipment. Strengthening by means of glass fibre or carbon fibre impairs its impact resistance.
ABS retains its hardness and rigidity in a temperature range of -40°C to +80°C, while it is also resistant to frequently fluctuating temperatures. Prolonged use above 85°C is not recommended. The absorption of moisture is 0.3% at 23°C/50% RH and 1% after saturation in water. However, moisture has hardly any effect on the mechanical properties or dimensions of ABS products. Due to the presence of rubber in the blend, its UV resistance is low, so prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause colour shifts and yellowing. Resistance to chemicals like diluted acids, bases, oils, greases and aliphatic hydrocarbons is excellent, but the same cannot be said of aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, phenols, ketones and concentrated acids. Chlorine salts can cause stress cracks.
ABS is excellently suited to electrical applications with low to medium voltages. However, its low conductivity can result in static charges, although this is avoidable by using special blends.