ABS Plastic because the Exterior Matters

8th in a series of articles

Lots of choices go into purchasing a car such as what you can afford, the gas mileage expected, two or four doors, and which safety features to include are just some of the considerations. Purchasing classroom or library audio equipment that’ll used by children similarly involves making choices, and looking at safety features should be some of them. So once all of the various features and functions have been weighed to make sure they fit your specific educational needs, consider the importance of the exterior.

Audio visual products designed for classroom uses need to be safer, more rugged and durable than the materials traditionally used in consumer electronics products. That’s why Califone uses Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic for most of our product lines including headphones & headsets, computer peripherals, media players, learning centers, megaphones and other PA equipment.

Lego bricks are made from ABS So what is ABS and how is it different? ABS is commonly used to make particularly rugged products such as golf clubheads and automotive body parts. It’s much stronger than pure polystyrene, which is what most headphones & headsets made for consumers are made with.

With its high impact resistance, ABS is tough enough to be operated by any eager or enthusiastic students. This helps you protect your educational investment, which is especially important given tight budgets. It also has a higher shock absorbance than regular polystyrene, so it can withstand greater impacts without shattering. Think of the difference between ABS and polystyrene in the same way untreated and tempered glass reacts if they should break – one goes into sharp and potentially dangerous shards while the other disintegrates into innocuous crumbs. The immediate safety of the students will be protected. So accidentally dropping the Califone product on the floor doesn’t mean a new unit has to be purchased.

Audio visual products made with ABS  have better resistance to heat, acids, and chemicals, and can be used in a Science class setting as well as outdoor physical education classes. By using the audio visual products with ABS exterior, you are also helping protecting our earth – ABS is a thermoplastic, so it can be recycled through melting and reprocessing procedures.

Read the next article or the previous one in the series.


Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.