Sustainability Data Sheet
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.
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)
kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per kg of resin
Typical density (g/cm3)
3 & 4
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.
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.
– Metalised 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
Granic -Mineral Masterbatch
- 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)