ABS – Looking Good

ABS is our featured material this month.  One of the most common items made from it is the LEGO brick, with 400 billion produced since 1958!

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a blend of three polymers that benefits from each of its parent materials.  But the main reason we recommend ABS as a material selection to clients is that it ticks quite a few boxes.  It’s easy to mould, has good mechanical strength and it looks good!

VERSATILE

The chances are that you are touching ABS right now! Computer mice and keyboards are just a couple of the items that we have made from it. 

One of the ABS projects we’re most proud of is the casing for the first payment terminal we produced for Racal Transcom, exhibited in London’s Science Museum.  This EFT machine enabled financial transactions to be made without the need for cash or cheque to change hands, quite ground-breaking in its day and it dramatically reduced the number of physical transactions, so improved the speed and efficiency of customers entering the museum.

Electronic Payment Terminal

SAFETY FIRST

We also used this material selection for a snowboarding helmet, as well as looking pretty cool, it needed to pass all the necessary certification tests.  Just goes to show that with the right choice of material, trials and testing can be completed successfully.

PROS

  • Good cosmetic surface finish
  • Easily recyclable
  • Can be ultrasonically welded/machined
  • Good mechanical properties/impact resistance, (specific grades)
  • Low cost
  • Ease of moulding
  • Many additives available (FR, UV, RFI)
  • Food contact grades available
  • Available in virtually any colour (even transparent)

CONS

  • Low fatigue resistance (doesn’t like to bend)
  • Attached by solvents (good for gluing!)
  • Poor UV resistance (unless additives are used)
  • Generally flammable (FR grades available)

For help or information about selecting the most appropriate and cost efficient material for your product, simply email hello@becgroup.com or call 01425 613131 today.