At Advanced Plastiform, Inc., we take pride in manufacturing high-quality, durable custom plastics to our clients across a variety of industries, including automobile, construction, and material handling. In addition to using innovative technology and equipment plus having a team of experienced designers, engineers, and manufacturers on hand, we also work with multiple types of thermoplastic materials. This allows us to use the right material for the product to get the best results. One of the most common plastics we use is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, often called ABS.
What Is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene?
ABS is an opaque thermoplastic polymer that is commonly used in both thermoforming and injection molding manufacturing. It is made by dissolving polybutadiene in liquid acrylonitrile and styrene monomers. The monomers then combine chemically to produce a linked molecule. The butadiene in ABS allows for sturdy impact defense, the acrylonitrile gives heat resistance and the styrene adds rigidity.
Because it has no known carcinogens or adverse health effects, it’s safe to use in a multitude of products with few exceptions being food packaging and medical implants.
ABS offers the following qualities:
- Low cost
- Easy to manufacture
- Easy to customize, paint, and glue
- Very strong and rigid
- Elastic and flexible
- Low melting temperature
- High impact resistance
- High chemical resistance
- Performs well in high and low temperatures
- Can be damaged by excessive exposure to UV rays.
Because it is highly elastic that becomes very flexible when heated, using ABS to thermoform custom plastics is an excellent option. ABS thermoforming involves heating sheets of plastic until it’s malleable, then fitting it over a custom-designed tool to get the desired shape. This is a faster, more affordable method of manufacturing plastics due to the lower cost of tooling and faster design. We utilize three methods of thermoforming at Advanced Plastiforms, Inc.
Vacuum forming is used for large plastic products, such as automobile trunk tubs and bathtubs because it is a quick, affordable method of thermoforming that is best used when products don’t require sharp edges or intricate details. After heating the plastic and fitting it around the tool, a high-powered vacuum is used to remove any air between the tool and the plastic, drawing it tightly against the mold to get the accurate shape.
For products that require sharp corners, edges, and detail, such as office equipment and furniture, we use pressure forming. Pressure forming is the opposite of vacuum forming. Instead of removing air between the tool and plastic, we use highly pressurized air to press the plastic firmly against the tool. This type of ABS thermoforming uses triple the pressure of vacuum forming, creating precise and complex shapes at a lower cost than injection molding.
Twin sheet forming involves heating adjacent ABS sheets at the same time, then forming and fusing them together to create a product. The way the two sheets join make them best for either double walled products or hollow products, such as air ducts, chutes, and vehicle bedliners.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Injection Molding
ABS injection molding involves melting the plastic to its liquid state, then using a high-pressure injector to force the plastic into a double-sided mold. Because the high cost of tooling and longer lead time, this method of manufacturer is used for highly detailed plastics in which thermoforming is not an option, such as small automotive components. However, once the tool is designed and in use, it can be used as often as needed, so it’s ideal for repeat orders and large quantities.
What Is ABS Used For?
Because it’s so sturdy and also easy to customize, ABS is in products we use everyday. Just a few examples include:
- Small kitchen appliances
- Toys, such as Lego®
- Car interiors, including dashboards and consoles
- Bathtubs and shower stalls
- Music instrument cases
Contact Us for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Manufacturing
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is one of the most commonly used plastics we use at Advanced Plastiform, Inc. because we specialize in designing and manufacturing highly durable, long-lasting parts and components used in a multitude of industries. With the best materials and innovative equipment and technology, we’re a leading plastics manufacturer, serving businesses across North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.