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ABS (acrylonitrile-butadlene-styrene) is a low-cost engineering thermoplastic 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. However, it’s 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. It’s 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.
So, yes, in general, ABS is food safe for processors.
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
- Generally safe for food processing
- 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
Applications for ABS Thermoplastic
- Food processing components
- Plumbing parts
- Housings and covers
- Automotive instrument panels
- Vacuum-formed parts
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also are a distributor of ABS. Contact us to discuss how we can fulfill your material needs.
ABS Material Properties
Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin USA dielectricmfg.com ABS Material Properties Provided By Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin
Property Metric units English units
General Density 1.01e3 - 1.21e3 kg/m^3 63.1 - 75.5 lb/ft^3
Mechanical Yield Strength 1.85e7 - 5.1e7 Pa 2.68 - 7.4 ksi
Tensile Strength 2.76e7 - 5.52e7 Pa 4 - 8.01 ksi
Elongation 0.015 - 1 % strain 1.5 - 100 % strain
Hardness (Vickers) 5.49e7 - 1.5e8 Pa 5.6 - 15.3 HV
Fracture Toughness 1.19e6 - 4.29e6 Pa/m^0.5 1.08 - 3.9 ksi/in^0.5
Young's Modulus 1.19e9 - 2.9e9 Pa 0.16 - 0.421 10^6 psi
Thermal Max Service Temperature 61.9 - 76.9 °C 143 - 170 °F
Insulator or Conductor Insulator Insulator Specific Heat Capability 1.39e3 - 1.92e3 J/kg °C 0.331 - 0.458 BTU/lb. °F
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 8.46e-5 - 2.34e-4 strain/°C 47 - 130 µstrain/°F
Eco CO2 Footprint 9.1e7 - 1.02e8 kg/kg 3.27 - 3.62 lb/lb
Recyclable Yes Yes
Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin USA dielectricmfg.com
ABS Material Properties Provided By Dielectric Manufacturing, Richfield, Wisconsin