Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene


Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a rigid thermoplastic co-polymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. It can be injection moulded, extruded and thermoformed. It is low in cost, can take any colour and can have a glossy finish.


ABS was first created in the late 1940s becoming commercially available during the 1950s.

Common uses

ABS is a strong material which can survive being dropped. It is often used for objects which are likely to take a knock during use; this includes handheld devices such as cameras and mobile phones and larger office equipment such as computer cases. Probably the most iconic object to be made of ABS is the Lego brick. It is recognised as a good substrate for metal plating.


It can be recycled but is not taken by councils for household recycling.