Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate copolymers are among the impact-resistant terpolymers and have similar properties to ABS. In addition, they are more weather-resistant than other terpolymers. In 1967, the first free-swinging plastic chair was made of ASA.
ASA is produced from the synthesis of n-butylacrylate. Various substances are then added to improve the properties. For example, cyclohexyl acrylate can be used as a comonomer to protect the plastic against low-temperature environments.
Due to the special resistance to weathering and UV light, the material is very well suited for outdoor applications. Like the ABS, the plastic is suitable for slightly advanced users, as the material may tend to warping. This can be counteracted with an enclosed printing space, a heated printing bed or a printing plate.
The surface of the material is scratch-resistant and shiny, while transparent materials are also possible. By adding special additives or through different production methods, the surface can also be made matte. Due to the higher polarity of the acrylic esters, ASA has a higher chemical resistance than ABS. In addition, the material is resistant to aqueous solutions such as acids and suds as well as oils and grease, alcohols and aliphatic hydrocarbons. In contrast to the non-UV-resistant ABS, which stems from the polybutadiene component, ASA can be used particularly well outdoors because of the acrylic esters.
The material is used in construction, for heat-stressed equipment such as coffee machines, in sports or in cars. In 3D printing the material is used for outdoors parts. Due to the high weather and UV resistance as well as the high shock and impact resistance, the material can be used for a wide range of applications.