ABS – Food Safe Plastic

 In Food-Safe Materials, Thermoplastics

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ABS Characteristics

ABS (acrylonitrile-butadlene-styrene) is a low-cost engineering thermoplastic polymer that is easily machined, fabricated and thermoformed.

Is ABS Food Safe?

ABS plastic is generally considered safe for use in food-contact materials by regulatory agencies such as the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) when it is used in accordance with their guidelines and regulations. It can be safely used in food processing and food handling operations, when used properly. It is important to note that the safety of ABS for food-contact applications can also depend on the specific additives, colorants, and processing methods used in its production. Some ABS formulations may contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has raised health concerns due to its potential endocrine-disrupting properties. BPA-free ABS is available as an alternative if you’re concerned about BPA exposure. It is recommended to use ABS materials that are specifically formulated and tested for food contact use, and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and handling.

ABS is typically used to manufacture items such as food containers, kitchen utensils, and appliances.

So, yes, in general, ABS is food safe for processors. The material properties experts at Dielectric Manufacturing can advise you on the use of ABS for food containers, and for other purposes.

This thermoplastic material has excellent chemical, stress and creep resistance. ABS offers a good balance of impact, heat, chemical and abrasion resistance, dimensional stability, tensile strength, surface hardness, rigidity and electrical characteristics.

ABS plastic remains hard, rigid and tough even at low temperatures. It is available in fire-retardant, heat-resistant and platable grades. Impact strength varies by grade. See the chart below for ABS yield strength, Young’s modulus (ABS elasticity), tensile yield strength of ABS plastic, mechanical properties of ABS plastic, and other properties.

Most natural ABS resins are translucent to opaque, but they can be produced in transparent grades and can be pigmented to display almost any color.

This material is primarily for indoor use. General purpose grades may work for some outdoor applications, but prolonged exposure to sunlight causes color changes and reduces surface gloss, hardness, impact strength and elastic modulus. Set the chart below for details of the material properties of ABS.

As a thermoplastic, ABS material is recyclable.

ABS Offers These Advantages

  • here to help 200Generally safe for production of food containers
  • Excellent impact, chemical and abrasion resistance
  • Superior stiffness and strength
  • Easily machined and thermoformed
  • Easy to paint and glue
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Excellent electrical properties
  • Recyclable

Applications for ABS Thermoplastic

  • Food processing components
  • Plumbing parts
  • Housings and covers
  • Automotive instrument panels
  • Vacuum-formed parts
  • Prototypes
  • Protective bumpers

Contact a Dielectric Manufacturing knowledge expert to discuss use of food-safe ABS for fabrication of your plastic parts, including plastic utensils and parts used in food processing operations. Call 800-367-9122 or email sales@dielectricmfg.com.

We also are a distributor of ABS. Contact us to discuss how we can fulfill your material needs.

ABS Material Properties

Density1.01e3 - 1.21e3kg/m^363.1 - 75.5lb/ft^3
Yield Strength1.85e7 - 5.1e7Pa2.68 - 7.4ksi
Tensile Strength2.76e7 - 5.52e7Pa4 - 8.01ksi
Elongation0.015 - 1% strain1.5 - 100% strain
Hardness (Vickers)5.49e7 - 1.5e8Pa5.6 - 15.3HV
Fracture Toughness1.19e6 - 4.29e6Pa/m^0.51.08 - 3.9ksi/in^0.5
Young's Modulus1.19e9 - 2.9e9Pa0.16 - 0.42110^6 psi
Max Service Temperature61.9 - 76.9°C143 - 170°F
Insulator or ConductorInsulatorInsulator
Specific Heat Capability1.39e3 - 1.92e3J/kg °C0.331 - 0.458BTU/lb. °F
Thermal Expansion Coefficient8.46e-5 - 2.34e-4strain/°C47 - 130µstrain/°F
CO2 Footprint9.1e7 - 1.02e8kg/kg3.27 - 3.62lb/lb

Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin USA dielectricmfg.com

ABS Material Properties Provided By Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin

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