The current U.S. production level for ABS is approximately 1.2 billion pounds per year. The main reason for the widespread use of ABS is its unique combination of properties that can be attributed to the composition of its three main components.
The composition consists of approximately 15-35% acrylonitrile, 5-30% butadiene, and 40-60% styrene. The acrylonitrile provides chemical resistance, high strength and heat stability; the butadiene provides toughness, and impact resistance even at low-temperature properties; while the styrene provides rigidity, glossiness and improved processability.
Variations in the percentages yield different resin grade which offer unique characteristics and properties. ABS is susceptible to UV-light and will discolor in its natural state with extended exposure to sunlight. This issue can be overcome through the incorporation of in mold or sprayed colors, and/or the use of a UV topcoat.
ABS can be processed with all thermoplastic processing techniques, including, but not limited to, extrusion, rotational molding, thermoforming, injection molding, and injection blow molding. This, along with its unique range of properties, contribute to its use in a wide variety of applications.