- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, (
chemical formula(C8H8· C4H6·C3H3N)n) is a common thermoplasticused to make light, rigid, molded products such as piping, musical instruments (most notably recordersand plastic clarinets), golf club heads (used for its good shock absorbance), automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, and toys, including Legobricks [ [http://designinsite.dk/htmsider/m0007.htm ABS - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene] On Designsite.dk, lists applications. Retrieved 27 October 2006] . In plumbing, ABS pipes are the black pipes (PVC pipes are white) and also in Plastic Pressure Pipe Systems. ABS plastic ground down to an average diameter of less than 1 micrometer is used as the colorant in some tattooinks. Tattooinks that use ABS are extremely vivid. This vividness is the most obvious indicator that the inkcontains ABS, as tattooinks rarely list their ingredients [ [http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=1657 Biology News: Is tattoo ink safe? ] ] .
It is a
copolymermade by polymerizing styreneand acrylonitrilein the presence of polybutadiene. The proportions can vary from 15 to 35% acrylonitrile, 5 to 30% butadieneand 40 to 60% styrene. The result is a long chain of polybutadiene criss-crossed with shorter chains of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile). The nitrilegroups from neighboring chains, being polar, attract each other and bind the chains together, making ABS stronger than pure polystyrene. The styrene gives the plastic a shiny, impervious surface. The butadiene, a rubbery substance, provides resilience even at low temperatures. ABS can be used between −25 and 60 °C. The properties are created by rubber toughening, where fine particles of elastomer are distributed throughout the rigid matrix.
Production of 1 kg of ABS requires the equivalent of about 2 kg of oil for raw materials and energy. It can also be recycled [http://www.anl.gov/techtransfer/Available_Technologies/Environmental_Research/Froth.html Plastics Recycling ] ] .
ABS is derived from acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. Acrylonitrile is a synthetic monomer produced from
propyleneand ammonia; butadiene is a petroleumhydrocarbon obtained from butane; and styrene monomers, derived from coal, are commercially obtained from benzeneand ethylenefrom coal.The advantage of ABS is that this material combines the strength and rigidity of the acrylonitrile and styrene polymers with the toughness of the polybutadiene rubber. The most important mechanical properties of ABS are resistance and toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. The impact resistance can be amplified by increasing the proportions of polybutadiene in relation to styrene and also acrylonitrile although this causes changes in other properties. Impact resistance does not fall off rapidly at lower temperatures. Stability under load is excellent with limited loads.
Even though ABS plastics are used largely for mechanical purposes, they also have good electrical properties that are fairly constant over a wide range of frequencies. These properties are little affected by temperature and atmospheric humidity in the acceptable operating range of temperatures.Harper C.A., Handbook of plastic and elastomers, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1975, pp. 1-3,1-62, 2-42, 3-1] The final properties will be influenced to some extent by the conditions under which the material is processed to the final product; for example, molding at a high temperature improves the gloss and heat resistance of the product whereas the highest impact resistance and strength are obtained by molding at low temperature.
ABS polymers are resistant to aqueous
acids, alkalis, concentrated hydrochloric and phosphoric acids, alcoholsand animal, vegetable and mineral oils, but they are swollen by glacial acetic acid, carbon tetrachlorideand aromatic hydrocarbons and are attacked by concentrated sulfuric and nitric acids. They are soluble in esters, ketonesand ethylene dichloride.
The aging characteristics of the polymers are largely influenced by the polybutadiene content, and it is normal to include
antioxidants in the composition. On the other hand, while the cost of producing ABS is roughly twice the cost of producing polystyrene, ABS is considered superior for its hardness, gloss, toughness, and electrical insulation properties. However, it will be degraded (dissolve) [ [http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives/189 Vintage Computing and Gaming | Archive » Why Super Nintendos Lose Their Color: Plastic Discoloration in Classic Machines ] ] when exposed to acetone. ABS is flammable when it is exposed to high temperatures, such as a wood fire. It will "boil", then burst spectacularly into intense, hot flames.
* [http://www.parmaplast.no/gml/uk/technical/PPmatr.htm#ABS ABS material description]
* [http://www.machinist-materials.com/comparison_table_for_plastics.htm Comparisons of many physical properties with other plastics]
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