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Introduction

ABS is a commonly used thermoplastic polymer with excellent impact, temperature and chemical resistance. It is also easy to machine and process and has a smooth surface finish. ABS can undergo various post-processing treatments, including coloring, surface metallization, welding, electroplating, bonding, hot pressing and more.

ABS is used for various applications across a wide range of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, electronics, consumer goods, construction and more.

Surface Finish

Electroplating

Electroplating can be functional, decorative or corrosion-related. Many industries use the process, including the automotive sector, in which chrome-plating of steel automobile parts is common.

Electroplating Image
Bead blasting

Bead blasting results in parts with a smooth surface with a matte texture. Used mainly for visual applications and can be followed by other surface treatments.

Bead blasting Image
Painting

Painting the surface of a part improves its aesthetic appearance and can provide brand recognition to consumers. In addition, painting can have a protective effect on parts.

Painting Image

Manufacturability

Tolerance

- Standard: (+/-) 125 µm -Achievable: (+/-) 100 µm , (+/-) 50 µm

Wall Thickness

- The minimum wall thickness should be at least 1 mm for machined parts. - 2 mm is suggested for better strength and 2.5 mm for a rigid wall.

Pocket depth

- Pocket depth should be up to 3 times the diameter of the end mill

Engraving

- Engraving is preferable to embossing - For the clear, legible text consider fonts such as Arial or Gothic - Design letter strands with a width of at least 2 mm

Internal Radii

- The minimum internal radii possible is 1 mm - In general, internal radii dimensions depend on the depth of pocket being milled

Holes

- Use standard drill bit sizes - Minimum of 1 mm in diameter

Threads

- Use standard metric inserts - Smallest threaded insert possible is M2

Design Recommendations

Min Wall Thickness

0.5 mm

Min End Mill Size

0.8 mm (0.03 in)

Min Drill Size

0.5 mm (0.02 in)

Max Part Size

1200 x 500 x 152 mm [(x,y,z] (mill) 152 x 394 mm [d,h] (lathe)

Undercuts

Square profile, full radius, dovetail profiles

Radii : Depth

Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter. For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x drill bit diameter.

Engineer's Pro Tips

  • ABS is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics because it is easy to process. It is also ideal for many applications because of its dimensional stability and resistance to chemicals, corrosion, temperatures, and moisture.
  • ABS plastics also have the benefit of being non-toxic and odorless, making them safe to use for many applications. They also have good electrical insulation properties.
  • ABS parts are versatile: they can be assembled using glue and easily taken apart. They are also affordable, making them popular for a number of uses. Though ABS has inferior ductility and temperature resistance properties compared to PA, it is a popular and effective material for its price point.
  • ABS is often used to produce plastic components that will undergo plating.
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