Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Difference between ABS, FRP, and PU

ABSPoly (Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, Styrene)
ABS is a copolymer of Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene. ABS plastics generally possess medium strength and performance and medium cost; ABS is often used as the cost and performance dividing line between standard plastics (PVC, polyethylene, polystyrene, etc.) and engineering plastics (acrylic, nylon, acetal, etc.). ABS polymers can be engineered by the manufacturer togive a range of physical properties, depending on the ratio of the monomeric constituents and the molecular level connectivity. Typically, a styrene-acrylonitrile glassy phase is toughened by an amorphous butadiene/butadiene-acrylo​nitrile rubber phase. 
The advantage of ABS is that this material combines the strength and rigidity of the acrylonitrile and styrene polymers with the toughness of the polybutadiene rubber. The most amazing mechanical properties of ABS are resistance and toughness. A variety of modifications can be made to improve impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. For instance, the impact resistance can be amplified by increasing the proportions of polybutadiene in relation to styrene and acrylonitrile although this causes changes in other properties. Impact resistance does not fall off rapidly at lower temperatures

fiberglass reinforced plastic, is a composite made from
fiberglass reinforcement in a plastic (polymer) matrix. A construction analogy would be the steel reinforcing bars in a concrete matrix for highways 
1. Fiberglass (FRP) - This is the most traditional material used for making body kits. As it is handmade, fitment is the biggest problem.
Fitment: Totally depends on skills of the crafter.
Pro: Hard, light weight and can easily be repaired when damaged. Able to customize in small quantity. As little as one piece. The cheapest option available.
Con: Brittle, easily crack on impact. Left and right side might not be symmetrical. Again, it depends on the crafter.
Best for: Affordable full body kits, single or small quantity customized parts.


Starting to become more popular. Usually for mass produced parts. BMW, Mercedes Benz and many other car manufacturers make stock bumpers with PU material.
Fitment: Usually, perfect fitment. The body kit is drawn up on computer using CAD software. High precision CNC machines are used to make the mold.
Pro: Long lifespan, light, soft, flexible, does not easily get damage on impact. The thinner the material, the more likely to retain its shape.
Con: Soft can be a weakness too. If used for big items like bumpers, it can deform at high speed. If material is thin, it can get damaged easily. If material is thick, it will be too heavy. Deforms at high temperature. Brittle and breaks easily at very low temperatures. Not able to repair when damaged.
Best for: Lips spoilers, rear spoilers


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