ACRYLONITRILE BUTADIENE STYRENE (ABS)
High-performance and widely used amorphous thermoplastic material, it became part of our everyday language by the abbreviation ABS, acronym of: Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene which are the three monomers used for its production.
For this reason it is called a terpolymer, which means that it is composed of three different comonomers: those are small molecules linked together through a specific process and each of them contributes with its own properties to creating a synergistic effect.
This interaction thus multiplies the final results compared to the single use of each element.
The term thermoplastic, on the other hand, refers to a type of plastic material that acquires moldabilityunder the action of heat. Thermoplastics, in fact, become liquid at a certain temperature, they can be heated to their melting point, cooled and reheated without significant degradation.
Among the peculiarities of this material there are good workability and processability, dimensional stability and soundproofing, as well as toughness even at low temperatures.
It is a plastic that is opaque, but can be colored using different pigments very easily,
while maintaining excellent aesthetic characteristics combined with excellent glossiness.
Its great success is certainly due to the qualities mentioned above, but a factor influencing the choice is certainly the economic one too, as producing ABS is cheaper than many other plastic materials.
ABS is generally transformed through the following processes: 3D printing, injection molding and extrusion and it is used in many applications such as: automotive, street or interior furnishings, gadgets and electronics; consequently, we can find it in many consumer products such as: toys, household appliances, car and furniture components, telephones, suitcases, lamps, well … virtually everywhere!
However this should not worry us, as ABS is one of the most suitable plastic materials for recycling. It can be converted into new forms of life with significant benefits in terms of environmental sustainability.
Of course, to fully enjoy these properties, which make plastic such a useful and precious product, we must learn to manage it consciously, reduce its use when unnecessary, keep on studying more sustainable raw materials, and constantly improve its recycling process.