A white paper developed by Hong Kong-based Trinseo technical specialists is providing practical data and research information on selecting the optimum ABS materials for effective coloring.
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins are widely used for applications such as appliances, toys, office equipment, sanitary wares, and more. Coloring of ABS resins can typically be achieved by color compounding at a coloring house, or through mixing natural color resins with color masterbatches. Historically, manufacturers of end products using ABS resins, and processors like injection molding workshops, have experienced coloring issues with typical ABS resins produced using the batch emulsion process. These issues include: 1) the base color of the natural resins is inconsistent, with potentially significant lot-to-lot variation in the base color of the same natural resin grade, and 2) different natural ABS resins exhibit varying shades of yellow. When manufacturers of end products receive different lots of ABS resins from the same producer, or different ABS resins from different producers, extra operations are required for color matching, incurring additional resources and costs. For end product manufacturers using natural color ABS resins with color masterbatches, a higher pigment loading is frequently needed to mask the variations in yellow base color from different lots or different grades of ABS resins. Additionally, the thermal stability and light stability of ABS molded parts are primary concerns of end product manufacturers. There is a clear need for improving the coloring efficiency of ABS resins used for various end product applications. This study discusses the light stability and thermal stability of several ABS resins. It is intended to provide information to manufacturers of end product parts to select the optimum ABS materials, especially for parts requiring light colors.