ASA Filament: Everything You Need to Know

3DJAKE ASA Filament Orange

ASA filament offers UV resistance, durability, and weather resistance for 3D printing, ideal for outdoor fixtures, automotive parts, and drones.


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Introduction

Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) filament is a thermoplastic widely regarded for its exceptional weather resistance, maintaining both color and mechanical properties when exposed to UV light and outdoor elements. Recognized as an ideal material for outdoor applications, ASA Filament combines the strengths of ABS with enhanced UV stability, making it superior for printing durable parts that will be used or displayed outdoors. Commonly used in the automotive industry, construction, and for various outdoor equipment, ASA has proven its worth in environments where other filaments would degrade quickly.

While ASA shares many processing characteristics with ABS, including similar temperature requirements and strength, its printing process can still present challenges like warping and the need for proper ventilation due to the emission of fumes. With careful handling and the right printing setup, ASA allows makers and professionals to create parts that last long under sun exposure without losing their luster or strength.

About ASA Filament

ASA stands out for its resistance to prolonged UV exposure, preventing yellowing or strength degradation over time, a common issue with many plastics. Additionally, its high chemical resistance and durability make it suitable for parts exposed to harsh conditions or chemicals. Despite its rigidity, ASA maintains a degree of flexibility, allowing for the creation of parts that can endure bending and stress without cracking.

Optimal printing with ASA requires attention to temperature management and bed adhesion techniques to combat its tendency to warp. However, once mastered, ASA’s ability to produce aesthetically pleasing, weather-resistant, and strong parts makes it a valuable filament choice for outdoor applications and more.

Possible Applications of Filament

Automotive Components

ASA’s UV stability and strength are ideal for exterior automotive parts, including mirror housings, grilles, and trim pieces that require longevity and resistance to the elements.

Outdoor Signage and Equipment

Its resistance to weathering makes ASA perfect for outdoor signage, lighting fixtures, and outdoor sports equipment that needs to maintain structural integrity and appearance over time.

Prototyping

Engineers and designers value ASA for creating functional prototypes for outdoor applications, testing the durability and UV resistance of designs before mass production.

Marine Applications

The filament’s resistance to water and UV exposure suits the manufacturing of marine components and equipment that spend extended periods in harsh, sunny conditions.

Pros and Cons of Filament

Pros:

  • UV and Weather Resistance: Exceptional durability in outdoor environments without significant degradation.
  • Chemical Resistance: Maintains integrity when exposed to many chemicals and solvents.
  • High Strength: Offers robust mechanical properties suitable for demanding applications.
  • Aesthetic Finish: Capable of producing parts with a smooth surface and vibrant colors that last.

Cons:

  • Warping: Similar to ABS, ASA can warp, requiring careful print bed preparation and environmental control.
  • Fume Emissions: Necessitates well-ventilated printing environments to handle potentially harmful emissions.
  • Printer Requirements: Needs a heated print bed and preferably an enclosed chamber to optimize print quality and minimize warping.
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Material Settings of Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]230 – 270
Build Plate Temperature [°C]80 – 110
Print Speed [mm/s]30 – 60
Cooling Fan [%]0 – 40
Enclosed Build ChamberRequired
Air ManagementRequired
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingRecommended

Managing the thermal properties of ASA is key to achieving successful prints, with special attention to bed adhesion strategies and environmental temperature control to combat the material’s propensity for warping.

Mechanical Properties of Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD75 D 85
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.05 – 1.1
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]40 – 55
Elongation at Break [%]20 – 30
Flexural Strength [Mpa]60 – 75
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]2000 – 2500
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]25 – 35
HDT B [°C]90 – 105
Tg [°C]100 – 105
UV ResistanceHigh

ASA’s mechanical properties illustrate its aptness for producing parts that must withstand mechanical and environmental stress, making it an advantageous material for outdoor and high-impact applications.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSASA
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270230 – 270
DurabilityModerateHighHigh
Ease of PrintingHighModerateModerate
UV ResistanceLowModerateHigh
Heat ResistanceLowModerateHigh

ASA offers a significant improvement in UV and weather resistance over PLA and ABS, with comparable durability and heat resistance to ABS but with the added benefit of superior longevity in outdoor conditions.

FAQ´s about Filament

What distinguishes ASA from ABS filament?

ASA provides enhanced UV resistance, making it more suitable for outdoor applications where ABS may degrade over time due to sun exposure.

Can ASA be smoothed like ABS for a glossy finish?

Yes, ASA parts can undergo similar chemical smoothing processes as ABS, such as acetone vapor smoothing, for enhanced surface aesthetics.

How can warping be minimized when printing with ASA?

Employing a heated bed, using brims or rafts, and printing within an enclosed chamber can significantly reduce warping issues with ASA.

What safety measures should be taken when printing with ASA?

Ensure the printing room is well-ventilated to mitigate fume inhalation, and consider using an enclosed printer with air filtration to enhance safety.

How does ASA handle mechanical stress?

ASA provides excellent mechanical strength, making it capable of enduring significant stress, impacts, and strains without losing functionality or aesthetic appeal.

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