Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate

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Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate
ASA monomers Image.png
Monomers in ASA polymer
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), also called acrylic styrene acrylonitrile, is an amorphous thermoplastic developed as an alternative to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), but with improved weather resistance, and is widely used in the automotive industry. [1] It is an acrylate rubber-modified styrene acrylonitrile copolymer. It is used for general prototyping in 3D printing, where its UV resistance and mechanical properties make it an excellent material for use in fused deposition modelling printers. [2]



ASA is structurally very similar to ABS. The spherical particles of slightly crosslinked acrylate rubber (instead of butadiene rubber), functioning as an impact modifier, are chemically grafted with styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer chains, and embedded in styrene-acrylonitrile matrix. The acrylate rubber differs from the butadiene based rubber by absence of double bonds, which gives the material about ten times the weathering resistance and resistance to ultraviolet radiation of ABS, higher long-term heat resistance, and better chemical resistance. ASA is significantly more resistant to environmental stress cracking than ABS, especially to alcohols and many cleaning agents. n-Butyl acrylate rubber is usually used, but other esters can be encountered too, e.g. ethyl hexyl acrylate. ASA has lower glass transition temperature than ABS, 100 °C vs 105 °C, providing better low-temperature properties to the material. [3]

ASA has high outdoor weatherability; it retains gloss, color, and mechanical properties in outdoor exposure. It has good chemical and heat resistance, high gloss, good antistatic properties, and is tough and rigid. It is used in applications requiring weatherability, e.g. commercial siding, outside parts of vehicles, or outdoor furniture. [4]

ASA is compatible with some other plastics, namely polyvinyl chloride and polycarbonate. ASA-PVC compounds are in use. [4]

ASA can be processed by extrusion and coextrusion, thermoforming, injection molding, extrusion blow molding, and structural foam molding. [4]

ASA is mildly hygroscopic; drying may be necessary before processing. [4]

ASA exhibits low moulding shrinkage. [5]

ASA can be used as an additive to other polymers, when their heat distortion (resulting in deformed parts made of the material) has to be lowered. [6]

ASA can be coextruded with other polymers, so only the ASA layer is exposed to high temperature or weathering. ASA foils are used in in-mold decoration for forming e.g. car exterior panels. [6]

ASA can be welded to itself or to some other plastics. Ultrasonic welding can be used to join ASA to PVC, ABS, SAN, PMMA, and some others. [4]

ASA can be solvent-welded, using e.g. cyclohexane, 1,2-dichloroethane, methylene chloride, or 2-butanone. Such solvents can also join ASA with ABS and SAN. Solutions of ASA in these solvents can also be used as adhesives. [4]

ASA can be glued with cyanoacrylates; uncured resin can however cause stress cracking. ASA is compatible with acrylic-based adhesives. Anaerobic adhesives perform poorly with ASA. Epoxies and neoprene adhesives can be used for bonding ASA with woods and metals. [4]

Compared to polycarbonate, ASA has higher resistance to environmental stress cracking, and exhibits lower yellowing in outdoor applications. Compared to polypropylene, ASA has lower moulding shrinkage (0.5% vs 1.5%), higher stiffness, impact resistance, heat distortion temperature, and weatherability. [7]


In the 1960s, James A. Herbig and Ival O. Salyer of Monsanto were the first to attempt to make what would become ASA using butyl acrylate as the rubber phase. This work was then refined by Hans-Werner Otto and Hans Peter Siebel of BASF using a copolymer of butyl acrylate with butadiene for the rubber phase. [8]


ASA can be made by either a reaction process of all three monomers (styrene, acrylonitrile, acrylic ester) or a graft process, although the graft process is the typical method. A grafted acrylic ester elastomer is introduced during the copolymerization of styrene and acrylonitrile. The elastomer is introduced as a powder. [9]

As of 2003, there were only few large manufacturers of ASA; e.g. BASF, General Electric, Bayer, Miele, Hitachi, and LG Chem. The production process is similar to ABS, but it has some key differences and difficulties. The annual demand around 2003 was about 1-5% of ABS. [7]


ASA/PC (polycarbonate) blends have been prepared and are commercially available. [10] [11]

In the Fused Deposition Modeling 3-D printing process, the ASA filament is used to fabricate 3-D printed parts, which above all must absorb a certain amount of impact and impact energy without breaking. [12]

ASA with compounds of silver, rendering its surface antimicrobial by the silver's oligodynamic effect, was introduced to the market in 2008. [6]

Related Research Articles

Petrochemical Chemical product derived from petroleum

Petrochemicals are the chemical products obtained from petroleum by refining. Some chemical compounds made from petroleum are also obtained from other fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, or renewable sources such as maize, palm fruit or sugar cane.

Polystyrene Polymer

Polystyrene (PS) is a synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer made from the monomer known as styrene. Polystyrene can be solid or foamed. General-purpose polystyrene is clear, hard, and rather brittle. It is an inexpensive resin per unit weight. It is a rather poor barrier to oxygen and water vapour and has a relatively low melting point. Polystyrene is one of the most widely used plastics, the scale of its production being several million tonnes per year. Polystyrene can be naturally transparent, but can be coloured with colourants. Uses include protective packaging, containers, lids, bottles, trays, tumblers, disposable cutlery and in the making of models.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8)x·​(C4H6)y·​(C3H3N)z) is a common thermoplastic polymer. Its glass transition temperature is approximately 105 °C (221 °F). ABS is amorphous and therefore has no true melting point.


Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), also known as polyvinyl cyanide and Creslan 61, is a synthetic, semicrystalline organic polymer resin, with the linear formula (C3H3N)n. Though it is thermoplastic, it does not melt under normal conditions. It degrades before melting. It melts above 300 °C if the heating rates are 50 degrees per minute or above. Almost all PAN resins are copolymers made from mixtures of monomers with acrylonitrile as the main monomer. It is a versatile polymer used to produce large variety of products including ultra filtration membranes, hollow fibers for reverse osmosis, fibers for textiles, oxidized PAN fibers. PAN fibers are the chemical precursor of very high-quality carbon fiber. PAN is first thermally oxidized in air at 230 °C to form an oxidized PAN fiber and then carbonized above 1000 °C in inert atmosphere to make carbon fibers found in a variety of both high-tech and common daily applications such as civil and military aircraft primary and secondary structures, missiles, solid propellant rocket motors, pressure vessels, fishing rods, tennis rackets and bicycle frames. It is a component repeat unit in several important copolymers, such as styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic.

Styrene-butadiene Synthetic rubber polymer

Styrene-butadiene or styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) describe families of synthetic rubbers derived from styrene and butadiene. These materials have good abrasion resistance and good aging stability when protected by additives. In 2012, more than 5.4 million tonnes of SBR were processed worldwide. About 50% of car tires are made from various types of SBR. The styrene/butadiene ratio influences the properties of the polymer: with high styrene content, the rubbers are harder and less rubbery. SBR is not to be confused with the thermoplastic elastomer, styrene-butadiene block copolymer, although being derived from the same monomers.


A copolymer is a polymer derived from more than one species of monomer. The polymerization of monomers into copolymers is called copolymerization. Copolymers obtained by copolymerization of two monomer species are sometimes called bipolymers. Those obtained from three and four monomers are called terpolymers and quaterpolymers, respectively.


An elastomer is a polymer with viscoelasticity and has very weak intermolecular forces, generally low Young's modulus and high failure strain compared with other materials. The term, a portmanteau of elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with rubber, although the latter is preferred when referring to vulcanisates. Each of the monomers which link to form the polymer is usually a compound of several elements among carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and silicon. Elastomers are amorphous polymers maintained above their glass transition temperature, so that considerable molecular reconformation, without breaking of covalent bonds, is feasible. At ambient temperatures, such rubbers are thus relatively compliant and deformable. Their primary uses are for seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts. Application areas for different types of rubber are manifold and cover segments as diverse as tires, soles for shoes, and damping and insulating elements. The importance of these rubbers can be judged from the fact that global revenues are forecast to rise to US$56 billion in 2020.

Acrylic acid

Acrylic acid (IUPAC: propenoic acid) is an organic compound with the formula CH2=CHCOOH. It is the simplest unsaturated carboxylic acid, consisting of a vinyl group connected directly to a carboxylic acid terminus. This colorless liquid has a characteristic acrid or tart smell. It is miscible with water, alcohols, ethers, and chloroform. More than a million tons are produced annually.


Polybutadiene [butadiene rubber BR] is a synthetic rubber. Polybutadiene rubber is a polymer formed from the polymerization of the monomer 1,3-butadiene. Polybutadiene has a high resistance to wear and is used especially in the manufacture of tires, which consumes about 70% of the production. Another 25% is used as an additive to improve the toughness of plastics such as polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Polybutadiene rubber accounted for about a quarter of total global consumption of synthetic rubbers in 2012. It is also used to manufacture golf balls, various elastic objects and to coat or encapsulate electronic assemblies, offering high electrical resistivity.

Nitrile rubber, also known as nitrile butadiene rubber, NBR, Buna-N, and acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, is a synthetic rubber derived from acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. Trade names include Perbunan, Nipol, Krynac and Europrene. This rubber is unusual in being resistant to oil, fuel, and other chemicals.

Kraton is the trade name given to a number of high performance elastomers manufactured by Kraton Polymers, and used as synthetic replacements for rubber. Kraton polymers offers many of the properties of natural rubber, such as flexibility, high traction, and sealing abilities, but with increased resistance to heat, weathering, and chemicals. It was first made by the chemical division of the Shell Oil Company in the 1950s, under the technical leadership of Murray Luftglass and Norman R. Legge. Shell sold its Kraton polymers business to private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings in March 2001.

Hot-melt adhesive

Hot melt adhesive (HMA), also known as hot glue, is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly sold as solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters designed to be applied using a hot glue gun. The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element to melt the plastic glue, which the user pushes through the gun either with a mechanical trigger mechanism on the gun, or with direct finger pressure. The glue squeezed out of the heated nozzle is initially hot enough to burn and even blister skin. The glue is tacky when hot, and solidifies in a few seconds to one minute. Hot melt adhesives can also be applied by dipping or spraying, and are popular with hobbyists and crafters both for affixing and as an inexpensive alternative to resin casting.

Acrylate polymer

Acrylate polymers are a group of polymers prepared from acrylate monomers. These plastics are noted for their transparency, resistance to breakage, and elasticity. They are also commonly known as acrylics or polyacrylates. Acrylate polymer is commonly used in cosmetics, such as nail polish, as an adhesive.

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers that consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. While most elastomers are thermosets, thermoplastics are in contrast relatively easy to use in manufacturing, for example, by injection molding. Thermoplastic elastomers show advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials. The benefit of using thermoplastic elastomers is the ability to stretch to moderate elongations and return to its near original shape creating a longer life and better physical range than other materials. The principal difference between thermoset elastomers and thermoplastic elastomers is the type of cross-linking bond in their structures. In fact, crosslinking is a critical structural factor which imparts high elastic properties.

Pressure-sensitive adhesive

Pressure-sensitive adhesive is a type of non reactive adhesive which forms a bond when pressure is applied to bond the adhesive with a surface. No solvent, water, or heat is needed to activate the adhesive. It is used in pressure-sensitive tapes, labels, glue dots, note pads, automobile trim, and a wide variety of other products.

A polymer blend, or polymer mixture, is a member of a class of materials analogous to metal alloys, in which at least two polymers are blended together to create a new material with different physical properties.

Styrene-acrylonitrile resin

Styrene acrylonitrile resin is a copolymer plastic consisting of styrene and acrylonitrile. It is also known as SAN. It is widely used in place of polystyrene owing to its greater thermal resistance. The chains of between 70 and 80% by weight styrene and 20 to 30% acrylonitrile. Larger acrylonitrile content improves mechanical properties and chemical resistance, but also adds a yellow tint to the normally transparent plastic.

Rubber toughening is a process in which rubber nanoparticles are interspersed within a polymer matrix to increase the mechanical robustness, or toughness, of the material. By "toughening" a polymer it is meant that the ability of the polymeric substance to absorb energy and plastically deform without fracture is increased. Considering the significant advantages in mechanical properties that rubber toughening offers, most major thermoplastics are available in rubber-toughened versions; for many engineering applications, material toughness is a deciding factor in final material selection.

INEOS Styrolution is a global styrenics supplier and is headquartered in Germany. It is a subcompany of INEOS and provides styrenics applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging and toys/sports/leisure.

Graft polymer

Graft polymers are segmented copolymers with a linear backbone of one composite and randomly distributed branches of another composite. The picture labeled "graft polymer" shows how grafted chains of species B are covalently bonded to polymer species A. Although the side chains are structurally distinct from the main chain, the individual grafted chains may be homopolymers or copolymers. Graft polymers have been synthesized for many decades and are especially used as impact resistant materials, thermoplastic elastomers, compatibilizers, or emulsifiers for the preparation of stable blends or alloys. One of the better-known examples of a graft polymer is high impact polystyrene, which consists of a polystyrene backbone with polybutadiene grafted chains.


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