Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic polymer made from a mixture of three monomers – acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. It is known for its strength, toughness, and resistance to impact and heat. ABS is commonly used in the manufacture of automotive parts, toys, electronic housings, and household appliances. It can also be easily molded, machined, and welded, making it a versatile material for a variety of applications. ABS is also relatively inexpensive compared to other engineering plastics. ABS is resistant to many chemicals, including acids and alkalis, which adds to its versatility and it as a relatively high melting point, providing good thermal stability. It can withstand moderate temperatures without significant deformation.


History of ABS

ABS was developed in the mid-20th century by combining styrene and acrylonitrile copolymers with polybutadiene, resulting in a thermoplastic with a unique combination of properties, including strength, toughness, and impact resistance. The development of ABS marked a significant breakthrough in the 1950s, leading to its commercialization and widespread adoption in diverse industries such as automotive, electronics, and consumer goods. Its ease of processing through methods like injection molding further contributed to its popularity. ABS has become one of the most utilized thermoplastics globally, serving as a versatile material for manufacturing a wide range of products due to its favorable mechanical and chemical properties.



  • Automotive Applications: ABS is commonly used in automotive interiors and exteriors, such as in the production of dashboards, interior trim, steering wheel covers, and exterior body parts. Its combination of strength and impact resistance makes it suitable for these applications.
  • Consumer Electronics: ABS is frequently used in the manufacturing of consumer electronics, including computer housings, printer components, and electronic device casings. Its smooth surface finish and ease of molding make it ideal for producing intricate and aesthetically pleasing parts.
  • Appliances: Many household appliances, such as kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaners, and washing machine parts, are made from ABS. Its chemical resistance and ability to withstand a range of temperatures contribute to its use in appliances.
  • Piping Systems: ABS is used in the construction of pipes and fittings for various applications, including drainage and sewage systems. Its chemical resistance, durability, and ease of installation make it a suitable choice for piping in residential and commercial buildings.
  • 3D Printing: ABS is a popular material for 3D printing due to its low cost, ease of printing, and good mechanical properties. It is commonly used in fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers to create prototypes, functional parts, and other objects.


Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) involves emulsion polymerization of three monomers—acrylonitrile, butadiene, and styrene—in the presence of initiators and catalysts. This copolymerization produces ABS in the form of latex, which is then coagulated, washed, and dried to obtain the polymer in a powder or pellet form. Subsequent processing methods, such as extrusion or injection molding, shape the ABS into final products. The ability to adjust the ratios of monomers during copolymerization allows for customization, providing ABS with a diverse range of properties suitable for various applications. The final molded ABS products undergo cooling and finishing processes, contributing to its widespread use in industries such as automotive, electronics, and consumer goods.


Environmental Properties:

  • Recyclability: ABS is recyclable, and some recycling facilities accept ABS materials for processing. Mechanical recycling methods, such as shredding and reprocessing, can be employed to reuse ABS in the production of new products. However, the quality of recycled ABS may be slightly diminished compared to the original material.
  • Durability and Longevity: ABS is known for its durability and longevity, which can contribute to the extended life of products made from this material. Items that last longer may require fewer replacements, reducing the overall environmental impact associated with manufacturing and disposal.
  • Resistance to Chemicals: ABS exhibits resistance to various chemicals, which can enhance its performance in certain applications. This resistance may contribute to the longevity of products and reduce the likelihood of chemical degradation during use.


Brands Using ABS

1. Styrenix Performance Materials Limited: Styrenix Performance Materials Limited, previously known as INEOS Styrolution India Limited, is committed to providing its clients with innovative and sustainable best-in-class solutions, aiming to equip them with a competitive edge in their respective markets. The company specializes in offering styrenic applications for everyday products across a wide spectrum of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging, and toys/sports/leisure. Through a focus on cutting-edge materials, Styrenix Performance Materials Limited actively contributes to the development of high-quality and functional products in various sectors.

2. Shanghai Kumho Sunny Plastics: Established in 2000 through joint investments from Kumho Petrochemical in Korea and Shanghai Rizhisheng, Shanghai KUMHO-SUNNY Plastic Co., Ltd. is a leading player in the polymer industry, focusing on PC/ABS and ABS, including Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). With a strong background in polymerization technology, the company has significantly enhanced material properties through innovative processes. Headquartered in Shanghai, China, it operates with over 1,000 employees across three production bases, boasting an annual production capacity of 270,000 tons and sales exceeding 2.3 billion yuan. As one of the top three plastic modification companies in China, it remains at the forefront of the industry.


Manufacturers Using ABS

1. LG Chem: LG Chem under LG Group, founded in 19447, is a major South Korean chemical company with global significance. Involved in diverse business sectors, LG Chem operates in petrochemicals, energy solutions, advanced materials, and life sciences. It is a leading producer of petrochemical products, including Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. Notably, LG Chem is a major player in the energy storage and battery industry, manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. Additionally, the company is active in producing advanced materials and engages in life sciences, including pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, LG Chem is a multifaceted corporation with a global presence and a focus on innovation in diverse chemical and material sectors.

2. DuPont: DuPont, founded in 1802 as a gunpowder mill, has evolved into a global conglomerate renowned for groundbreaking innovations in chemicals, materials science, and agriculture. The company's diverse portfolio includes transformative inventions such as nylon, Teflon, Lycra, and Kevlar. With a commitment to research and innovation, DuPont has excelled in chemicals and materials, agriculture, and electronics. Notably, it contributes to the production of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a versatile thermoplastic widely used in various industries. DuPont's adaptability is reflected in its history of restructuring and spin-offs. From its crucial role in national defense to its continuous focus on cutting-edge solutions, DuPont remains a pioneering force with a legacy of impactful contributions.


News and Updates on ABS

Enhancing Sustainability in Chemical Recycling of ABS Materials

ELIX Polymers explores the potential of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) materials to enhance sustainability in healthcare, addressing challenges posed by cross-contamination in traditional mechanically recycled ABS amid rising demand for sustainability in medical applications.

Where Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Can Be Sourced

South Korea