ABS is an amorphous thermoplastic blend. The recipe is 15-35% acrylnitrile, 5-30% butadiene and 40-60% styrene. Depending on the blend different properties can be achieved.
Acrylonitrile contributes with thermal and chemical resistence, and the rubberlike butadiene gives ductility and impact strength. Styrene gives the glossy surface and makes the material easily machinable and less expensive.
Generally, ABS has good impact strength also at low temperatures. It has satisfactory stiffness and dimensional stability, glossy surface and is easy to machine. If UV-stabilizators are added, ABS is suitable for outdoor applications.
ABS plastic ground down to an average diameter of less than 1 micrometer is used as the colorant in some tattoo inks. Tattoo inks that use ABS are extremely vivid. This vividness is the most obvious indicator that the ink contains ABS, as tattoo inks rarely list their ingredients. Other uses include:
- Musical Instruments (recorders and clarinets)
- Golf club heads
- Protective headgear
- Whitewater canoes
- Luggage and protective carrying cases
- Toys such us Lego Bricks