ABS is perhaps the best-known plastic among product designers. Despite its amorphous structure, ABS is not transparent.
Why choose it?
- Easy to process, no need for deburring
- Minimal tendency to warp
- Excellent surface appearance
- Good impact resistance even in low temperatures
- Relatively inexpensive (ABS is often classified as a commodity plastic)
Why not choose it?
- Poor thermal resistance. ABS becomes fairly soft already at temperatures as low as 80°C.
- Chemicals, e.g. CRC or nail polish remover are poison for ABS.
- Prone to stress-cracking. Assembly snap joints etc. should be designed in a way that they are not subjected to continuous load.
- Poor UV resistance. ASA could be a better choice.
- Electronic housings
- Lego blocks
- Computer mouse
- Housing of a toaster