Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) has a chemical formula (C8H8)x•(C4H6)y•(C3H3N)z and is a popular thermoplastic. The glass transition temperature of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is around 105°C. Since, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is amorphous, it has no true melting point. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a terpolymer and is manufactured by the polymerization of acrylonitrile and styrene in the presence of polybutadiene. The proportions of the aforementioned chemicals may vary from 5% to 30% butadiene, 40% to 60% styrene and 15% to 35% acrylonitrile. The resulting product is a long chain of criss-crossed polybutadiene with short chains of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile). The nitrile groups are polar and thus attract each other to bind the above mentioned chains, making acrylonitrile butadiene styrene stronger as compared to pure polystyrene. The styrene present in the acrylonitrile butadiene styrene provides an impervious and shiny surface. The polybutadiene is a rubber like substance which provides toughness at low temperatures.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is generally used between −20 to +80 C since its mechanical properties may vary according to the temperature. These properties are created by involving rubber toughening wherein the fine particles of elastomers are distributed thoroughly in the rigid matrix. Some important mechanical properties of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene include toughness and heavy impact resistance. A lot of modifications can be incorporated in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene in order to improve the heat resistance, toughness and impact resistance. The impact resistance can be further intensified by raising the proportions of acrylonitrile and polybutadiene, however it brings changes in various other properties. Moreover, impact resistance does not get reduced instantly and rapidly at low temperatures, although the stability is excellently efficient with loads being limited. Thus, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene can be prepared in different grades by changing the proportions of its component substances.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene can be produced by the process of polymerization including emulsion, mass process and suspension. Suspension and emulsion are the most preferred methods, however, mass process has earned a significant role owing to the feasible polymerization along with the ease of handling. The mass process of manufacturing acrylonitrile butadiene styrene involves polymerization of acrylonitrile and styrene in the presence of styrene butadiene rubber, polybutadiene and nitrile butadiene rubber in the monomer phase. Also, several other chemicals including initiators, suspending agents, chain transfer agents, stabilizers and additives are also involved in this process. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is generally opaque and is considered as a thermoplastic polymer material. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a well known thermoplastic and offers superior properties such as impact and chemical resistance, processing versatility and superlative balance of heat. It finds applications in a variety of processes in transportation, construction, electronics, appliances and pharmaceutical sectors. Rapid growth in automotive and construction industry as well as rapid industrialization are some factors driving the demand for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene over the forecast period. Due to vast number of market players and increased competition, consumers are projected to gain tremendous benefits.
Growth of automotive sector coupled with increasing demand for lightweight yet tough plastics in automobiles is a key factor driving the demand for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Moreover, the rapid growth of Chinese chemical industry has fueled the demand for engineering plastics, and in turn, is accelerating the growth of overall market. Rising importance of light weight materials to achieve better fuel efficiency is anticipated to fuel the growth of the market. Improvements in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have encouraged automobile manufacturers to opt for new materials with lighter weight in order to increase fuel efficiency. This is acting as a key factor in the growth of ABS market.
The global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market can be segmented on the basis of applications and region. On the basis of applications, the global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market can be segmented into appliances, automotive, consumer goods, construction, electrical & electronics and others. Geographically, the global acrylonitrile butadiene styrene market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Key players involved in the manufacturing of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene include Chi Mei Corporation, LG Chem Ltd., Formosa Plastic Company, INEOS Styrolution, Kumho Petrochemical Company among others.