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ABS Plastic Sheet

ABS resins are terpolymers of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. These medium-priced, amorphous thermoplastics are hard, rigid and tough, even at low temperatures. Various grades offer different levels of impact strength - a function of butadiene content. Heat resistant, flame-retardant and platable grades are also available. Most natural ABS resins are translucent to opaque, but they are also produced in transparent grades, and they can be pigmented to almost any color. Grades are available for injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, foam molding and thermoforming.

Some grades of ABS are compounded with other resins to achieve special properties. For example, ABS is alloyed with polycarbonate to achieve a better balance of heat and impact properties at an intermediate cost. Deflection temperature is improved by the polycarbonate; molding ease is improved by the ABS. Other ABS resins are used to modify rigid PVC for use in pipe, sheeting and molded parts.

ABS plastics offer a good balance of tensile strength, impact and abrasion resistance, dimensional stability, surface hardness, rigidity, heat resistance, low temperature properties, chemical resistance and electrical characteristics. ABS parts have enough spring to accommodate shallow, snap-fit assembly requirements.

Impact properties of ABS are exceptionally good at room temperature and, with special resin grades, at temperatures as low as -40°F. General-purpose ABS grades may be adequate for some outdoor applications (depending on design and performance requirements) but prolonged exposure to sunlight causes a color change and reduces surface gloss, impact strength, hardness and elastic modulus. Pigmenting the resins black, laminating with opaque acrylic sheet and applying certain coating systems provide optimum resistance to weathering.

Molded ABS parts are almost completely unaffected by water, salts, most inorganic acids, food acids and alkalines, but much depends on time, temperature and stress levels. Molded ABS products are used in both protective and decorative applications of many industrial and consumer products. Examples include football helmets, camper tops, housing for small appliances, communications equipment, business machines, automotive instrument panels, pipe and fittings and home security devices. Chrome-plated ABS has replaced die cast metals in plumbing hardware and automobile grills, wheel covers and mirror housings. Typical products vacuum-formed from extruded ABS sheet are refrigerator liners, luggage shells, tote trays, mower shrouds, boat hulls and large components for recreational vehicles.

Physical properties of utility grade ABS are not consistently defined. Please advise us of your critical requirements.

    Standard ABS Grades
ASTM or UL Test Physical Property High Impact Superhigh Impact Medium Impact
D792 Specific gravity 1.04-1.20 1.02-1.05 1.06
D638 Tensile strength (psi) 5,100-5,900 5,000-6,300 5,300-5,500
D638 Elongation (%) 5-20 5-70 5-25
D638 Tensile modulus (105 psi) 3.3 2.0-3.5 3.6-4.0
D790 Flexural strength (psi) 8,000-10,600 6,000-11,500 11,500
D790 Flexural modulus (105 psi) 3.4 2.0-3.5 3.6-4.0
D256 Impact strength,
Izod (ft-lb/in of notch)
6.5 7.0-8.0 4.0-5.5
D785 Hardness, Rockwell R 103 69-105 107
D696 Coefficient of thermal
expansion (10-5 in/in-°F)
5.3 3.65-4.5 4.88
D648 Deflection temp.† *(°F)      
  At 264 psi 188 192 179
  At 66 psi 203 208 200
UL 94 Flammability rating HB HB HB
D149 Dielectric strength (V/mil)
Short time, 1/8-in thk
400 350-500 350-500
D495 Arc resistance (s) 89 50-85 50-85
§0.060-in thick samples †Unannealed.    
*Density has a marked effect.      

Please inquire about the availability of medium and high impact ABS. Utility grade ABS is available in black and white.