ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a low-cost engineering plastic that bridges the gap between standard plastics and high-performance engineering thermoplastics. It is typically used for injection moulding applications and is highly versatile, which is due to its 3 monomers. ABS provides favourable mechanical properties such as impact resistance, toughness and rigidity, which are greater than that of pure polystyrene and other polymers.
ABS is easy to machine and fabricate, which means it is widely used for machining preproduction prototypes because it has excellent dimensional stability and is easy to paint and glue. Due to its low melting point, it is not typically used in high heat situations as it will burn. However, these characteristics lead to ABS being used in many other applications, which range anywhere from the keys on a computer keyboard to children’s Lego toys. It is a good choice if you need an inexpensive, strong, stiff plastic that holds up well to external impacts.
As ABS is a thermoplastic material, it can be easily recycled. In fact, reusing it is becoming increasingly popular, as virgin ABS can prove to be expensive as a raw material. To recycle ABS, it is first shredded with the recovered acrylonitrile butadiene styrene then used with virgin ABS to produce a new product.
In terms of using ABS within a food environment, despite its durability only the Natural (Beige) ABS is FDA compliant, which means that only that variant can be used within food processing applications.
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