What is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene?
ABS plastic is one of the most important and widely used commercial polymers. Its full name is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, which is an expensive and amorphous matte polymer. This polymer is used in the automotive industry, in the production of electrical appliances and in the manufacture of home appliances, including vacuum cleaners, telephones, tea makers, etc.
As the full name of this polymer suggests, ABS is composed of three components: acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene, which can be modified by changing the percentage of each of these monomers.
ABS plastic can be produced in different ways. One of these methods is by combining the mechanical copolymer of butane-DN-acryl nitrate (BAN) with the styrene-acryl-nitrate (SAN) copolymer. The production of ABS by any method will eventually lead to the production of a polymer that will have better properties and higher impact resistance than polystyrene.
As mentioned earlier, ABS is composed of three monomers with different characteristics and the combination of these three monomers has created a polymer that has excellent mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. Among the many properties of ABS plastic, the following can be mentioned:
- It has a low price. Insulated against electric current. Stable and rigid
- Very good welding and paint-ability and good machining and high impact resistance
What are the uses of ABS plastic in the industry?
ABS plastic is one of the inexpensive thermoplastic plastics that has a wide range of applications in industry due to its balanced thermal, chemical and mechanical properties. The main application of ABS is in the manufacture of car body parts and the automotive industry. Other applications include the following:
- Manufacturing car body parts including dashboard, door covers, car interior parts, seat belts, car bumpers and wheel covers
- Production of injectable parts such as Lego (children's toys)
- Build a phone
- Production of home appliances such as refrigerators
- Production of hand tools for power tools
- Build a computer body
- Production of cryogenic insulation
- Plating industry
What are the disadvantages of ABS plastic?
- Flame sensitivity
- Change color and properties against sunlight
Although ABS has its drawbacks, it can be overcome by alloying it with other materials. For example, by alloying it with PVC, ABS can be reduced to flame sensitivity, making it slow-burning as well as vulnerable. To solve the problem of opaque ABS, it can be alloyed with poly-methyl methacrylate to achieve ABS.
Which of Asian petrochemicals produces ABS polymer?
Tabriz Petrochemical and Ghaed-Basir Petrochemical are among the ABS producers in the Middle East. This polymer is produced in 50 grades, including ordinary grades, flame retardant grades, plating grade and heat resistant grades, most of which are produced in Ghaed Basir Petrochemical.
It can be recycled by crushing and heating ABS. To prevent yellowing and thermal degradation of ABS, it is important to adjust the temperature during granulation by the granulator. One of the problems that arises when recycling ABS is contamination by impact polystyrenes (with high impact resistance) which can have very serious effects on recycled materials.
In our country, before the grinding process, gasoline is used to separate ABS from polystyrene. If gasoline dissolves, it is impact polystyrene, and if it does not dissolve, ABS is detected. If the mixture is milled, the separation process is performed using salt water. In other countries, electrostatic and floating foam methods are used to accurately separate the mixture.
Application of ABS polymer in plastic injection
Increasing applications of ABS have led to the development of other alloys to address its shortcomings. MBS is one of the alloys that has advantages over ABS such as high transparency and better resistance to sunlight. But this alloy has less tensile strength compared to ABS. The butadiene in the oxidized surface dissolves and the small cavities left on its surface are chemically active. These points will be a good place for chemical deposition of copper or nickel as well as catalyst adsorption. In addition, the presence of these cavities will increase the mechanical adhesion of the plating layer to the plastic.
The application of ABS polymer in plastic injection is very wide. Many of the parts produced during the injection process are made of ABS. The production of protective coatings, computer components such as mouse and keyboard bodies, as well as holding containers are among the applications of this inexpensive polymer in the plastic injection industry.
The affordable price of this polymer is the first reason for its use in the plastic injection industry. On the other hand, the styrene in this polymer gives a clear and shiny state to the final product, which along with the hardness and resistance caused by polybutadiene, will create a very ideal shape.
The structural diversity of this polymer gives rise to several properties in this material that allow manufacturers to use it to make products with different shapes and uses. On the other hand, this material is available in various quality grades and can be transparent, glass or have excellent resistance.
In the plastic injection process, different raw materials are used to make plastic products. These raw materials, which are mostly thermoplastic polymers, can form a wide range of consumer and industrial products used in today's world.
Advantages and disadvantages of using ABS polymer in plastic injection
ABS is a matte amorphous thermoplastic polymer that is suitable for industries such as plastic injection that require hard, durable and inexpensive plastic. The chemical structure of this polymer allows it to be recycled and modified, which reduces the percentage of production error in the plastic injection process.
Features such as machinability, good dimensional stability, high resistance to oils and chemicals acidic and alkaline, dielectric, creep resistance and the ability to combine with other polymers are the main advantages of using ABS in plastic injection.
Now that we have talked about the many advantages of this polymer, it is good to balance the scales a bit by talking about its disadvantages:
- This material has a low melting point, which makes it unsuitable for the production of equipment such as medical implants and accessories that are used at very high temperatures.
- Despite resistance to chemicals, this resistance to corrosion and dissolution is very low.
- Materials made of ABS are very weak against UV rays.
- These disadvantages make ABS unsuitable for use in all plastic injections and reduce its efficiency.
As you can see, this polymer has a lot of advantages and variety that allows you to produce a variety of plastic products with its help. Ductility, reasonable price and relative resistance to external factors make this material one of the most popular raw materials for plastic injection, which you can find many examples of in your kitchen, toolbox and desk.