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ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) (ABS)

ABS is a family of thermoplastics based on acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene combined by a variety of methods involving polymerization, graft copolymerization, physical mixtures and combinations thereof. The three constituents provide a balance of properties: the butadiene units imparting good impact strength, the acrylonitrile units affording heat resistance, and the styrene units giving the copolymer its rigidity. ABS can be injection-molded, blow-molded, or extruded.

ABS was patented in 1948 and introduced to commercial markets by the Borg-Warner Corporation in 1954. It is regarded as a good engineering plastic (that is, a substitute for metals in structural parts) and is widely used in appliance housings, luggage, pipe fittings, and automotive interior parts.

Sources:
J. A. Brydson, Plastics Materials, 4th ed., 402-407.
Whittington’s Dictionary of Plastics, 2nd ed., 2.