ABS

Sustainability Data Sheet

Introduction

ABS is an amorphous terpolymer made by emulsion or mass polymerisation of acrylonitrile and styrene in the presence of polybutadiene. It is a widely used thermoplastic, principally for extrusion & injection moulding, and offers superior mechanical properties such as impact resistance, toughness, and rigidity.

Typical Properties

Density: 1.03 – 1.06 g/cm3

Melt volume flow rate: N5 – 80 ml/10min (@ 10kg, 220°C)

Notched Izod impact strength: 9 – 40 kJ/m2 (@ 23°C)

Flexural modulus:1.7 – 2.3 GPa

Carbon footprint data (NB: cradle-to-gate)

Material

kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per kg of resin

Typical density (g/cm3)

Ref

ABS

3.46

1

1

rABS

0.5

1

3 & 4

HDPE

1.9

0.955

2

Paper

2.42

1.2

1

Glass

4.4

2.5

1

Aluminium

8.14

2.7

1

Recycling

ABS is 100% recyclable although it is not accepted by all recycling facilities and is not collected at kerbside. Despite this, recycled ABS grades are available on the market to buy.

Biodegradability & compostability

ABS is not biodegradable or compostable.

Bio-sourced

ABS is manufactured from acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene which are mainly obtained from petroleum or natural gas. It is not routinely bio-sourced (*see material solutions for sustainability).

Material solutions for sustainability

Recycled grades containing a % of PCR (Post-Consumer Recyclate).

PS-based calcium carbonate masterbatches (mainly for sheet extrusion) can improve some mechanical properties such as stiffness & bend resistance, allowing for thinner wall sections.

* CHIMEI (a Plastribution supply partner and the world’s largest produce of ABS) are beginning to produce a range of materials, including ABS, using styrene derived from bio-naphtha, a feedstock made using biomass.

Designing for sustainability

Different ABS grades and additives can offer a very broad range of properties, for example:

 – You may be able produce thinner wall sections by using either stiffer grades or by using a masterbatch to increase stiffness.

 – M
etalised ABS can be used to replace metal, resulting in a lighter part that has used less energy when being processed.

Consider replacing ABS with alternative polymers that have lower CO2e figures (if the part design can be changed). A high stiffness PP can be used as an alternative for ABS in many applications.

Design part to be recyclable. Consider implementing a closed loop system within your production process.

Products available from Plastribution

Type

Manufacturer

Product

Recycled ABS

CHIMEI

rABS

Granic -Mineral Masterbatch

GCR

G2042

Recycled ABS

MBA Polymers

PCR ABS

  1. References

    1. https://www.winnipeg.ca/finance/findata/matmgt/documents/2012/682-2012/682-2012_Appendix_H-WSTP_South_End_Plant_Process_Selection_Report/Appendix%207.pdf

    2. Cradle-to-Gate Life Cycle Inventory of Nine Plastic Resins & Four Polyurethane Precursors – The Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council & Franklin Associates – August 2011 (Table AD-3)

    3. https://recyclinginternational.com/plastics/axions-recycled-polymers-bring-large-carbon-footprint-savings/2461/

    4. https://bage-plastics.com/carbon-footprint/
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