Kawai ABS Technology

The Final Test

In the fall of 1998, a series of important tests were conducted by Professor Abdul Sadat, chair of the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. The research compared ABS Styran piano parts versus their wood counterparts with regard to strength, dimensional consistency, resistance to swelling and shrinking and longevity. The results were compelling.

Test 1: Strength

ABS Styran hammer flanges were shown to be over 50% stronger than wooden hammer flanges.

Benefit: Longer life of the piano

Test 2: Dimensional Consistency

ABS Styran piano parts were shown to be significantly more consistent in size and shape than wooden parts at the time of manufacture.

Benefit: Greater precision for superior performance

Test 3: Resistance to Swelling

After only 24 hours of exposure to 90-100% humidity, wooden hammer flanges swelled by over 5% in size. In contrast, ABS Styran parts swelled by only 0.16%. Thus, ABS Styran parts proved to be 30 times more resistant to swelling than comparable wood parts.

Benefit: Without swelling/shrinking, action screws remain tight and hammers stay properly aligned for more consistent tone and touch over the life of the piano.

Test 4: Longevity

ABS hammer flanges taken from a 27-year-old used Kawai upright piano were shown to be significantly stronger than brand new wooden flanges designed for a grand piano.

Benefit: Better long-term durability and performance

“One of the most important findings of this study my be attributed to the dimensional tolerances at manufacture and the dimensional changes in environment as the wood parts proved to be inferior to ABS…”
– Dr. Abdul Sadat

This landmark research proved beyond all doubt that ABS Styran is superior to wood for specific uses within a piano action.