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What Can We Mold from ABS Plastic?

The Basics of ABS

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is one of the most widely used thermoplastic polymers across numerous domestic, commercial, and industrial applications today. The history of ABS can be traced back to the 1940s. During this time, manufacturers often used styrene acrylonitrile copolymers. While this material’s increased hardness over styrene made it suitable for some applications, it still possessed many physical and mechanical limitations. This led to the introduction of a third monomer, butadiene, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) was created. This material was first available in the 1950s and has gone on to become one of the most widely sought engineering polymers.

The three individual components of ABS possess unique characteristics that contribute to the overall properties of the final material. Acrylonitrile provides the chemical and thermal resistance, butadiene improves its strength and toughness, and styrene is responsible for the glossy finish of the final product. These attributes have made it ideal for applications where durability, superior surface quality, and luster are a priority.

Properties of ABS Plastic

One of the most defining characteristics of ABS is its thermoplastic property. ABS thermoplastics are polymers that melt above a certain temperature to become soft and pliable, and then solidify upon cooling. Thermoplastics can be re-melted and re-molded numerous times without degradation to its mechanical properties. This is in direct contrast to thermoset plastics, which burn when heated. The thermoplastic property of ABS makes it one of the most popular materials in custom injection molding properties of abs plastic infographicprocesses.

ABS also possesses a variety of desirable physical and mechanical properties—most of which are superior to other widely used polymer materials. These include enhanced impact resistance, toughness, hardness, heat resistance, chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, and tensile strength. Its chemical composition can be modified by adjusting the proportions of its components to improve specific properties. Therefore, different grades of the material can be produced for suitability in various applications.

Other exceptional properties of ABS include:

  • Dimensional stability
  • Electrical insulation
  • Compressive strength
  • Rigidity
  • Excellent machinability
  • Lustrous aesthetic qualities
  • Receptive to paints and adhesives

Applications/Industries

ABS’s machinability, exceptional properties, and relatively low cost make it ideal for numerous applications. Its use is so widespread that we all interact with it on a daily basis. Everything from luggage, power tools, tool boxes, radio and cell phone housings, furniture, and kitchen appliances are all manufactured using ABS. This polymer is also used in 3D printing and preproduction prototypes due to its excellent dimensional stability and receptiveness to paints and adhesives.

In addition to home and domestic products, ABS is also used in several industrial applications, including, but not limited to:

  • Food handling – ABS is FDA compliant for food contact applications such as appliances and food packaging.
  • Aircraft/aerospace – ABS parts can be found both on the interior and exterior of many types of aircraft. Some of these components include luggage bins, cargo containers, signage, cockpit visors, and seating parts.
  • Automotive – The lightweight property of this plastic is used to make cars lighter and improve fuel efficiency. Typical ABS automotive components include dashboards, wheel covers, body parts, and trimmings.
  • Medical and pharmaceutical – Medical grades of ABS possess improved biocompatibility, making them suitable for food and medicine administering devices. It is also used in the manufacturing of cases and housings for several medical devices.
  • Toys – The non-toxic and durable nature of this material is ideal for children’s toys such as Legos, tricycles, and action figures.

Learn More About ABS Plastic Molding

ABS molding is widely used to create some of the most durable and versatile plastic products on the market today. The skilled technical staff at Abtec Inc. specializes in ABS plastic injection molding services. We can design, develop, and manufacture any mold and supporting tooling for your unique application.

If you would like to learn more about ABS and how Abtec Inc. can turn your concepts into reality, contact us and request a quote today!

injection molding dieAt Abtec Inc., we’re proud to offer custom mold making services, helping clients bring their product visions to life. Versatile and reliable, plastic injection molding is used to create a huge range of everyday products. One of the most popular methods for mass producing plastic parts, this technique continues to rise in popularity across diverse industries and applications. Some of plastic injection molding advantages include the following:

  • High Efficiency and Quick Turnaround Times

    Plastic injection molding is one of the most efficient methods for producing machined plastic parts. Since periods between cycles can be as short as 15 seconds, more parts can be made — meaning thousands of precision parts can be produced per hour, depending on the specific mold. This high production output rate helps companies boost revenue and profit margins.

  • High Accuracy for Complex Part Designs

    Custom plastic injection molding allows for great design flexibility. Nearly any type of plastic part can be produced using this manufacturing process, and the molds allow the finished product to be extremely precise, typically within 0.005 inch.

    Having a full understanding of customers’ needs is imperative for ensuring proper product form and function. With years of industry experience and a dedication to close client collaboration, our team is able to determine the ideal design and material for customers’ projects, and can begin work quickly on prototypes.

  • Wide Range of Material Options

    Our team’s deep expertise is invaluable when deciding on the ideal material for a part. Material selection is a critical step in the manufacturing process, and must be based on the intended strength of the end product. Other key factors to keep in mind include appearance characteristics, such as color and finish, and any applicable regulatory requirements. Dozens of material options are available to meet specific application needs.

  • Automation Capabilities

    More and more aspects of the injection molding process can now be automated. Robotics automation allows repetitive actions to be carried out quickly and efficiently, without the risk of variation. During the injection mold process, automation can be used for various tasks, such as removing parts from plastic injection molds or positioning inserts or metal components into the molding machine. Robotics can also be used for secondary services, such as assembly, packaging, drilling, and sorting. Automation offers a range of unique benefits, including highly consistent, improved part quality, as well as reduced costs, less waste, and enhanced machine utilization.

  • Cost Savings

    Plastic injection molding is cost-efficient for a number of reasons. First, injection molding machines often run with a self-gating tool to streamline operations and keep production going smoothly passing the cost savings off to the customer.

  • Endless Possibilities

    With a huge range of design, material, and color options, nearly any kind of part can be created with the custom injection molding process. Color and material type are easy to change in plastic injection molding machines, and one mold can produce many variations of the same product. Abtec also provides a number of secondary services, allowing for further customization. Popular services include milling, drilling, CNC machining, hot stamping, ultrasonic welding, heat staking and painting.

Why choose Abtec for Custom Injection Molding Services?

plastic granules

Abtec will be there with you year after year; as many of our customers have been with us for 30 plus years.

Along with the many injection molding advantages we provide, we’re with you every step of the way. We know our customer needs, their scheduling and buying habits; we are prepared and quickly respond to our customers needs.  You get your product when you want it … on-time with quality you can trust.

Abtec is a qualified and certified ITAR/DOD and JCP injection molding company providing sub-tier government suppliers confidence in your services.  In addition, Abtec is ISO 9001:2015 certified with a QMS that provides customer confidence in the quality and services we provide.

Abtec can comply with your product specification and not have your sacrifice or compromise as we assist with design for part manufacturability.  We work with you and understand your expectations and challenges.

Abtec utilizes the best molding practices and communicate with you to provide satisfying results. Continuous interaction with our customers, Abtec will create with your company a solid business relationship foundation that will benefit and project development process.

Learn More

No matter what kind of part is needed, the experts at Abtec know how to turn your idea into a high-quality finished product. We offer both high- and low-volume production capabilities for custom plastic injection molded parts, and guarantee on-time delivery for every order.

To learn more about plastic injection molding and discuss how we can help with your unique application needs, reach out to the team today. We’re on hand to answer any questions you may have about injection molding products and processes.

 

A Guide to Our Engineering Resins

Engineering resins are one of two types of plastics commonly used in the injection molding process. Commodity resins (the other common type) are inexpensive and typically used in consumer products like toys, packaging, and food containers. Engineering resins are ideal for use in industrial applications because they are strong and highly resistant to temperature, corrosion, and wear. Engineering resins also have special thermal and mechanical properties that make them useful in replacing wood and metal to save on costs and/or weight.

 

Abtec, Inc. offers a broad range of different engineering plastic resins that can be used in industrial projects.

Engineering Plastics Available from Abtec

The engineering plastics we offer include:

  • Acetal Copolymer Polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as Celcon or AmcelAcetal, also known as polyoxymethylene (POM), is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic often used to create precise parts that require high resistances to environmental factors such as heat and abrasion, good dimensional stability, and low friction. Acetal also features a high enough tensile strength that it is useful for replacing metal in some applications. POM is used for applications such as plastic zippers, small gears, medical devices, and consumer electronics.

 

  • Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is a semi-crystalline polymer with high molecular weight. It has high heat and chemical resistances and favorable electrical properties. PBT features higher flexural, dielectric, and tensile strengths than most other thermoplastics. Glass-filled PBT exhibits 2–3 times as much strength in these same areas.

 

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is hard, stiff, strong, and dimensionally stable. It features a good resistance to chemicals other than alkalis and exists as both an amorphous and a semi-crystalline thermoplastic material. Semi-crystalline PET features good strength, ductility, and hardness while amorphous PET offers better ductility but less hardness and stiffness.

 

  • Polycarbonate (PC) is a naturally transparent, amorphous thermoplastic. It is available commercially in a wide range of colors, and its polymers are useful in producing materials that require impact resistance and/or transparency. Common applications include plastic lenses in eyewear, automotive components, and exterior light fixtures.

 

  • Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a semi-crystalline polymer with good thermal stability due to its high melting point of 300° C. It possesses a high chemical resistance and is created with fiberglass or carbon reinforcements to enhance mechanical and thermal properties. PEEK is non-flammable and has good dielectric properties.

 

  • Polyether imide (PEI) is an amorphous polymer exhibiting high temperature resistance, creep resistance, and rigidity. Since it is non-flammable, resistant to radiation, and easily processed, PEI is approved by the FDA for use in medical and food contact applications.

 

  • Polyethersulfone (PES) and Polysulfone (PSU) exhibit high thermal, oxidative, and hydrolytic stability. These thermoplastics are amorphous, transparent, and can be molded, extruded, or thermoformed into a variety of different shapes. PES and PSU are typically used for internal components in coffee machines, battery containers, and printer cartridges.

 

  • Polyphenylene ether (PPE) has low moisture absorption, giving it good electrical insulating properties over a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. It also has good resistance to water and most salt solutions. Its applications include food processing, automotive parts, and household appliances.

 

  • Polyamide (Nylon) is a synthetic thermoplastic that can be heated to its melting point, cooled, and reheated again with minimal degradation. Glass-filled Nylon has higher tensile strength but is more brittle than traditional Nylon. Nylon’s wide variety of uses include clothing, toys, and furniture points of impact.

 

  • Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) is a crystalline material that is highly resistant to temperature, chemicals, and corrosion. It also has high flame retardance, making it common for use in high-temperature electrical applications.

 

  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a flexible material that can typically be pulled to at least twice its original length at room temperature. It offers slip resistance, shock absorption, and ergonomic comfort. It can be easily molded onto hard thermoplastic materials, making it ideal for use as a soft touch grip on a product. Other typical applications include sealing rings and bottle cap liners.

 

  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPE/TPU) offers the elasticity of rubber and the toughness and durability of metal. It ranges from being very soft and flexible to very rigid. TPU has excellent resistance to abrasion, good performance in low temperatures, and high transparency. Typical uses include automotive interior and exterior parts, hydraulic seals, and medical devices.

Abtec has more than 100 years of experience in injection molding. We are ISO-certified and ITAR/DOD-registered.

 

If you need custom injection molding involving any engineering resins and/or any commodity resins we work with, please contact us.

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What Is TPR Material?

Abtec has more than 100 years of experience in the design, development, and manufacture of custom injection molds and support tooling. Our manufacturing process, which includes robotics and the latest in process monitoring mechanisms, is efficient and leverages cutting-edge technology. We save you money because our machines are designed for repeatability—this means reduced labor costs and lower reject rates.

thermoplastic rubber (TPR) santoprene

About Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)

TPR material, also known as thermoplastic rubber, is a material that has properties of both plastic and rubber. It is lightweight and has good abrasion resistance, good tear strength, weather resistance, and electrical properties. TPR performs similarly to vulcanized rubber and is reusable and recyclable. This material is also well suited for injection molding processing.

What are TPR’s Benefits?

The unique properties of TPR give it several advantages over other materials in the injection molding process, which include:

  • TPR material usually has a faster cycle time than thermoset rubber
  • It can be processed on traditional plastic equipment
  • Its customization options mean it can be made in a variety of colors or clear
  • TPR can be co-molded or co-extruded with other types of rigid plastics
  • It can be compounded for a range of physical and chemical properties

thermoplastic rubber (TPR) - button part

Which TPRs Are Available at Abtec?

Abtec carries the brands below:

  • Alcryn® is a true thermoplastic elastomer that is based on a cross-linked interpolymer alloy. It is designed for manufacturing rubber parts that have high productivity on thermoplastic equipment. It is useful in a number of applications that are served by vulcanized rubber, such as:
    • Injection-molded parts
    • Window and door weatherstripping
    • Coated fabrics
    • Blow-molded parts
    • Seals
    • Gaskets
    • Tubing
    • Soft handles and grips
    • Wire and cable jackets
  • Santoprene™ has the flexibility of rubber and is easily processed, like thermoplastics. It can be reprocessed and remanufactured with little difficulty, making it preferable to other types of rubber when a complex elastomer is needed in manufacturing. Its common applications include:
    • Automotive
    • Household appliances
    • Electrical
    • Construction
    • Health Care

thermoplastic rubber (TPR) - rubber grip part

What Is TPR Material Compared to TPE Material?

TPR vs. TPE

TPE, or thermoplastic elastomer, is a polymer that behaves like thermoset rubber. It is very similar to TPR in that both:

  • Have high-flexural fatigue resistance
  • Are resistant to tears and abrasions
  • Have high-impact strength and good dielectric properties
  • Are weather- and chemical-resistant
  • Are recyclable
  • Can be used in temperatures ranging from -30°C to 140°C (-22°F to 284°F)

There are, however, a few differences between TPR and TPE:

  • TPR is modified from a SBS base, which gives its particles a reflective, glossy surface; TPE is modified from a SEBS base and has a matte surface with light astigmatism.
  • TPR emits a thick, dark smoke when burning; TPE emits a thinner smoke when burning.
  • TPR is used in products that need gluing to adhesives or require a glossy surface; TPE’s applications include food and medical products, sealing rings, and closure liners.

Abtec Has the TPR Solution for Your Project

Abtec has more than a century of experience in designing and manufacturing custom injection molds. We often use TPR material in our injection molds because the material, which is similar to vulcanized rubber, is lightweight, reusable, and recyclable.

With our experience, we will provide you with high-quality molds with a short turnaround time. Our cutting-edge equipment is designed for repeatability, which leads to lower labor costs and reject rates—saving you money in return!

If you need custom injection molds for your next project, contact us to request a quote.