Machine Talk 2: Let’s get to Know the term "ABS Plastic"

abs plastic

ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is an opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer. Simply put, it’s a chemical compound that can be liquefied and recycled again and again at 221 Fahrenheit temperature. This plastic has low melting point. So, when it actually melts, it can be moulded into any other shape.

This material is very important in the manufacturing of Motorcycle gear. It is a plastic, it looks like a plastic yet. its stronger than your Regular plastic. Other Popular plastics include AS (Acrylonitrile Styrene), SAN (Styrene Acrylonitrile), PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) etc, comes as the popular alternatives. They have their own pros and cons in the usage.

Yet when you check the details of your motorcycle helmets and bike armours, you read the magic word – ABS.

A question might be bubbling in your mind, why do we need to cover this particular topic?

Simple Answer: Many motorcycle blogs have provided reviews on helmets, bionic armour etc yet haven't covered the material. All of rider community and other motorcycling enthusiasts should know what sort of material makes these motorcycle accessories dependable and secure, all of you can make an informed choice then.

Now that we have started this topic, few more questions may be bubbling in your minds ...? When there are other options available, WHY IS ABS PLASTIC USED FREQUENTLY TO MAKE PROTECTIVE GEAR OVER OTHER ALTERNATIVES(Plastics),? What’s so great about them;


Let’s start  by giving you a boring info:  ABS plastic is used due to its low melting point.

Keep this boring info in your mind; let us explain the process

The advantage ABS plastic provides when compared to others is its low melting point properties in high heat situations. While others have typical high melting point, ABS plastic can be used in variety of components, since it can be moulded into any shape desired by the manufacturer.  If you want a curved shaped helmet, or a  steady straight shape, ABS is your saviour!, in fact ABS plastic provides  a strong resistance to corrosive material. ABS is your last line of defence that would nullify a forward’s corrosive movement.

The strength of plastic lies in its durability and sharp elasticity, sturdy enough to withstand brutal force and best point, the production cost is really low as well . Additives are added to its versatility and strength.

Now we shall add some Technical Jargon,

Chemical Formula - (C8H8) x· (C4H6) y·(C3H3N) z)

Glass Transition - 105 °C (221 °F) *

Typical Injection Moulding Temperature - 204 - 238 °C (400 - 460 °F) *

Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) - 98 °C (208 °F) at 0.46 M Pa (66 PSI) **

Tensile Strength - 46 M Pa (6600 PSI) ***


If you manage to understand the above formulas, we should tell you a secret fact;

“Most motorcycle helmets are made of the same plastic that is used to make water buckets.”


In Conclusion:

ABS is used in wide range of home products, yet its substantial value comes out from the response of the protective gear.  Most of the popular brands have ABS inside their own motorbiking protective gear.

You can say that while the marketing sells them, ABS shields their reputation.


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