The Manufacturing Guide of Plastic ABS Materials

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The Manufacturing Guide of Plastic ABS Materials

Plastic is a versatile and mostly used material to manufacture end-use products and parts. You find plastic products everywhere, from medical devices to consumer products, because you got lots of polymer options having specific mechanical properties. So you need to be familiar with plastic, and this guide gives you an overview of plastic material and can be helpful for your manufacturing process.    

What is Plastic ABS Materials?

ABS Plastic Materials

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS plastic, is widely used in many industries. It is an amorphous polymer or opaque thermoplastic formed by combining three monomers. These monomers mainly include acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. When these are combined, polar attraction is developed by the acrylonitrile with the remaining two monomers. The development of this polar attraction between monomers results in the formation of ABS plastic.

Plastic ABS, a tough material, is a great choice on an industrial scale because of its versatile properties. Companies and industries use this durable material to manufacture commercial or domestic products.

Properties and Features of ABS Plastic

ASB Injection Molding Parts

We know that ABS plastic’s properties make it the most demanding material for manufacturing products on a large scale. Let us discuss some of its outstanding properties.

Physical Properties of ABS Plastics:

The physical properties of ABS plastic are as follows:

  • Greater Toughness:

ABS plastic is a very tough and strong material. This toughness is mainly due to the presence of butadiene and makes it suitable for manufacturing components that demand greater toughness and strength to ensure long-term functioning.

  • Impact-Resistant:

ABS plastic offers greater impact resistance. Thus, it does not undergo deformation when a force is applied.

  • Corrosion-Resistant:

ABS plastic offers extreme resistance to corrosion. This property resists any damage that may occur due to corrosion. It will protect from harsh environmental factors.

  • Thermal Stable:

ABS plastic shows a greater extent of thermal stability due to the acrylonitrile. It remains unaffected by the high temperature that automatically provides its structural stability.

  • Moldable:

ABS plastic can be moldable. So, you can mold it into different shapes to form the desired product.

  • Recyclable:

ABS plastic can be recyclable. The recyclability makes it a perfect option in industries because of its environmental-friendly nature.

  • Cost-effective:

ABS plastic is highly cost-effective. You can use this material to manufacture products at cost-effective and budget-friendly prices.

Physical Properties of ABS Plastics:

Here are the main chemical properties of ABS plastic.

  1. Chemical formula: (C8H8)x (C4H6)y(C3H3N)z)
  2. Injection molding temperature:(400 – 460 °F)
  3. Liquefying temperature (glass transition): 105 °C (221 °F)

Mechanical Properties of ABS Plastics:

Here are the important mechanical properties of ABS plastics.

  • Heat deflection temperature: 98 °C (208 °F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI)
  • Toughness (Notched Izod Impact at Room Temperature): 200 – 215 J/m
  • Elongation at yield- 1.7-6%
  • Shrink rate- 0.5-0.7%
  • Flexural Strength:74 MPa (10800 PSI)
  • Hardness Shore D: 100
  • Elongation at break- 10-50%
  • Specific gravity: 1.06
  • Tensile strength: 46 MPa (6600 PSI)

Electrical Properties of ABS Plastics:

  • Volume Resistivity: 14 – 16 x 1015 Ohm. Cm
  • Arc resistance: 60-120 sec
  • Dielectric Constant: 2.7- 3.2
  • Dissipation factor: 50 – 190 x 10-4
  • Dielectric Strength: 15.7 -34kV/mm

The Manufacturing Process of ABS Material:

The following are some common manufacturing processes of ABS material.

  1. ABS Injection Molding
  2. ABS CNC Machining
  3. ABS 3D Printing

ABS Injection Molding

ABS Injection Molding

The process of ABS injection molding is similar to thermoplastic injection molding. The process starts by feeding the ABS resin pellets in a hopper. After that, high pressure is applied to melt the pellets. As the pellets melt, they are injected to mold. The last step involves injecting part from the mold after cooling and solidifying. After the part is injected, the whole process is repeated.

Advantages of ABS Injection Molding:

Here are the main advantages of ABS injection molding:

  • Produces Less Waste:

The ABS injection molding process produces less amount of waste. The less production of debris makes it an eco-friendly method.

  • Manufactures a Large Volume of Components:

ABS injection molding can efficiently manufacture large volumes of components with high accuracy.

  • Produces Complex and Multi-Featured Parts:

One of the main advantages of ABS injection molding is the production of complex components having multiple features, such as metal inserts.

  • Enhances Mechanical Strength and Durability of Manufactured Parts:

ABS injection molding increases the mechanical strength of the manufactured parts. Due to the increased mechanical power, they offer greater durability.

  • Low Labor Cost due to the Automated Nature of the Process:

Injection molding is an automated process; thus, it needs less human intervention. Due to the less human intervention, the labor cost of the process is low, which automatically reduces the costs of the components.

Drawbacks of ABS Injection Molding Process:

Here are the some disadvantages of ABS injection molding:

  • The High Initial Cost of Investment:

The high initial investment cost of ABS injection molding is among the some disadvantages.

  • Material Burning:

Material burning may occur in ABS injection molding if not carried out carefully. It may result due to the trapped gasses that can exert high pressure resulting in the ignition. It can ultimately cause the material to burn.

  • High Cost of Tooling:

We know that being an automated process, the cost of parts manufactured through ABS injection molding is low. But, similar to the initial investment cost, the tooling cost is also high, which is considered a major drawback.

ABS CNC Machining

ABS CNC Machining Services

ABS Plastic is the most popular material known for CNC machining. Specialized computer programs control the whole process. It uses various CNC machines, such as lathes, grinders, routers, and mills. Cutting and removing material from the workpiece are done using multiple machine tools.

During the process, the material is subtracted from the workpiece according to the information directed by the computer programs. Thus, the raw material is transformed into a desirable finished product.

Advantages of ABS CNC Machining:

ABS CNC machining is advantageous in several ways. Here are the common advantages offered by ABS CNC machining.

  • Greater Accuracy:

ABS CNC machining manufactures the parts exhibiting greater accuracy as computer software controls the whole process, ensuring the manufacturing of accurate parts.

  • High Durability:

Due to the greater accuracy, the manufactured parts offer greater levels of durability. It automatically ensures the long-term performance of components.

  • Fast Mass and Prototypes Production:

ABS CNC machining is the fastest way to produce prototypes of ABS plastic. Due to the rapid production of prototypes, it assists in rapid mass production.

  • Creation of Parts with Complex Geometries:

You know that CNC machining is an automated process thoroughly controlled by computer programs. Being a computer-controlled technique, it offers higher accuracy than other manufacturing processes.

In ABS CNC machining, the ABS products are manufactured according to instructions given by the computer. Thus, the parts with complex geometries produced exhibit greater accuracy and precision due to this process.

  • Excellent Surface Finish:

ABS CNC machining is beneficial in providing an excellent, smoother surface finish at the end of the process. You do not need to perform any post-processing techniques to attain a desirable surface finish that can result in additional costs.

  • Cost-Effective:

ABS CNC machining is a cost-effective process as compared to ABS injection molding. This cost-effectiveness is mainly because ABS CNC machining does not require the production of expensive molds, which is a main requirement in the injection molding method.

Disadvantages of ABS CNC Machining:

In addition to numerous benefits, ABS CNC machining offers various disadvantages. Some of its main drawbacks are discussed below.

  • Massive Waste Production:

The major disadvantage of ABS CNC machining is that it can produce much waste.

  • High Cost of Equipment:

The cost of CNC machining equipment is high. Therefore, one has to spend a lot of money to manufacture ABS parts.

ABS 3D Printing

ABS 3D Printing

ABS components are largely manufactured through the 3D printing technique. For this purpose, FFF or FDM printers are commonly utilized. The printer forms long, filamentous wounds of the ABS around the spool. The filamentous ABS is then passed to the extruder or extrusion head. Here they are heated until they convert to liquid form. After liquifying, they are deposited on the printing platform as layers, and it is the easiest technique to manufacture many ABS parts.

Advantages of ABS 3D Printing:

ABS CNC machining is advantageous in several ways. Here are the common advantages offered by ABS CNC machining.

  • Low Cost:

The FDM technology in 3D printing has reduced its cost to a large extent. ABS 3D printing can also lead to a low production cost.

  • Excellent Manufacturing Grade Material:

ABS filaments formed during 3D printing exhibit outstanding mechanical properties such as impact resistance, flexibility, and strength. Thus, it makes it an excellent manufacturing-grade material on an industrial scale.

  • Easy Processing:

ABS 3D printing is advantageous because of its easy processing. ABS can be easily processed with the help of glue and acetone components. You can even use acrylic color to paint the ABS material.

  • Excellent Model with a Smoother Finish:

ABS 3D printing can provide you with excellent results with appropriate settings. Printing overhangs are much easier using this material. In addition, it gives a perfect, smooth finish to the final model product.

  • Outstanding Mechanical Properties:

You know that ABS material is unknown for its greater toughness and higher strength. Moreover, it offers outstanding resistance against various chemicals and heat. If you compare it to other 3D printing materials, you will know it can respond better to pressure, high temperature, and stress conditions. Thus, ABS plastic prevents wear and tear during 3D printing.

Disadvantages of ABS 3D Printing:

Along with providing advantages, ABD 3D printing offers the following disadvantages.

  • Require advanced features:

The 3D printing of ABS material may require specialized features in 3D printers for good printing. It demands advanced 3D printers that may be expensive and found at higher costs.

  • Emission of bad odor:

The production of bad odor is among the main disadvantages of ABS 3D printing. An unpleasant smell is produced during the process, which is considered unbearable. Evidence also suggests that fumes released by burning plastic contain toxic substances.

  • Cracking of ABS:

During printing, ABS may get cracked or curled. The cracks usually form during the cooling of the parts, and they can eventually fail the printer by interrupting its performance.

  • Warping of ABS:

Warping is a common drawback of ABS 3D printing. During the printing, when cooling occurs, the ABS starts shrinking. After shrinking, it starts peeling off and rising from its corners, called warping. It can affect the working of printers.

Applications of Plastic ABS

Common applications of ABS plastic are as under.

injection molding Accuracy
  1. Due to its lighter weight, it is used in automotive industries to manufacture components such as wheel covers, etc.
  2. It is used in machining to produce prototypes because it can be easily moldable.
  3. It is used for the production of vacuum components.
  4. The sheets of ABS plastics are used for manufacturing the fitting and pipes.
  5. It is more widely used in 3D printers than other plastics as it has low melting points.
  6. It is widely used for manufacturing 3D building materials, power-tool housing, keyboard keys, etc.
  7. It is a great choice to be used in the refrigeration industry.
  8. ABS offers several medical applications because of its non-toxic properties. It is completely harmless and has no harmful effects on health.
  9. It is used to manufacture a wide range of consumer goods and home appliances used regularly. Some of these products include food processors, using, etc.
  10. You can manufacture a lot of gardening tools using ABS plastic.
  11. It is used in sports industries to manufacture various durable sports equipment.
  12. It is used for the manufacturing of music equipment.
  13. It is popular to manufacture electrical and electronic products such as keyboards.
  14. It is an ideal plastic for the manufacturing of plastic toys and legos, etc.


Q: Is ABS Engineering Plastic?

A: Yes, ABS is an engineering plastic which is a thermoplastic polymer widely used for machining purposes on an industrial scale. It is machined to manufacture durable industrial components.

Q: What are the Common Engineering Plastics?

A: The following are the common engineering plastics.

  • Polycarbonates (PC)
  • Polyamides (PA, nylons)
  • Polymethyl methacrylate
  • Polyoxymethylene (POM)
  • Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS)
  • Polyphenylene Oxide(PPO)
  • POM
  • PET

Q: What is the Definition of Engineering Plastic?

A: Engineering plastic is a group of plastic materials that exhibits outstanding thermal or mechanical properties than other plastic for producing accurate and durable parts.


Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.