What are ABS ceiling fans?

What Are ABS Ceiling Fans?

ABS plastic is a fairly new material in the ceiling fan market, but it’s already popular with both manufacturers and consumers. It's not hard to see why. Because it’s relatively easy to create unique and interesting shapes out of ABS, this material opens up a lot of design possibilities for ceiling fans.

To see what we mean, take a look at the Swish ceiling fan. Creating this shape with ABS plastic is much easier than using either timber or metal – two other popular materials to make ceiling fans. 

We used the Swish as an example because it shows how far plastic allows manufacturers to push boundaries when they create new designs. However, there are subtler designs which benefit from ABS’ unique properties. The Infinity (below)  is one of our best-selling fans, and has a clean minimalist design. But when you look closer at the Infinity, you can see that its blades also have their own unique shape. The blade pitch is variable, turning outward as the blades extend from the fan's motor. Again, this design is possible because of ABS plastic. Unlike timber or metal, which needs to be cut or carved into shape, ABS plastic can be poured into a mould to create delicate twists and turns. 

What Is ABS Plastic?

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, a type of thermoplastic. Each different thermoplastic has its own “glass transition” temperature. This is the point where it achieves a liquid state and can easily be injected into a mould. ABS’s glass transition point is when its heated to approximately 105 degrees Celsius - only slightly warmer than the point which boils water.

This allows manufacturers to create unique and interesting shapes at a relatively low cost. Although timber can be cut by machine or hand carved, it's easier to create unique shapes with plastic. As for metal, its melting point is much higher than thermoplastic. This means that experimenting with shapes would be a more energy intensive and expensive process.

Why Choose An ABS Plastic Fan?

If you find a metal or timber blade design you prefer to the ABS options, go for it! However, there are some installations where a fan with plastic blades gives you more options. If you’re installing a ceiling fan outdoors, there will be less models with either timber blade or metal models.

Other Advantages of ABS Ceiling Fans:

Outdoor options: If you check out our outdoor ceiling fans category, you’ll find the vast majority of outdoor fans have ABS plastic blades.

Beautiful Colour Finishes (including timber look): If you have your heart set on warm timber hues, it’s still worth looking at some of models with plastic blades. “Timber look” plastic blades are beginning to look more and more like the real thing every year, so don’t rule out them out!

Lightweight: Because plastic blades aren’t heavy, they can be crafted into more aerodynamic shapes. Of course, this varies from model to model, so check the airflow specifications when you’re comparing fans.