Definitions of Resins - Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS)

Chemically, this family of thermoplastics are called terpolymers, because they are made of three different monomers: acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene, to create a single material that draws on the best properties of all three. ABS was introduced to the market in 1948, primarily as a result of activities that had taken place during the war years in the development of synthetic rubbers. ABS possesses outstanding impact strength and high mechanical strength, which makes it suitable for use in tough consumer and industrial products, including: appliances, automotive parts, pipe, business machines and telephone components. In the 1960s, ABS found wide outlet as a substrate for metallizing (i.e., applying a chrome-like metallic finish to the plastic) and appeared in such products as shower heads, door handles, faucet handles and automotive front grilles. A class of thermoplastic terpolymers including a range of resins, all prepared with usually more than 50% styrene [C6H5CHCH2] and varying amounts of acrylonitrile [CH2CHCN] and butadiene [CH2CHCHCH2]. The three components are combined by a variety of methods involving polymerization, graft copolymerization, physical mixtures and combinations thereof.

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