ABS and ASA are similar thermoplastics. ABS is most well known in casings for domestic appliances and for toys although generally these are moulded rather than extruded. ASA was created in the 1970s with the intention of creating a similar product to ABS, but with higher levels of weather resistance.
ABS and ASA are polymers that share many similar properties. They both have high impact resistance at high and low temperatures. They share excellent rigidity and chemical resistance, and both have good adhesive properties.
ASA extrusions are best known for their high UV and weather resistance.
The most commonly seen application of ABS is in Lego bricks, although these are moulded rather than extruded. This polymer however is extruded for use in all forms of water pipes, waste pipes and water transfer applications.
In addition due to its ability to perform at low temperatures, ABS is often extruded for use in freezer cabinets and cold store rooms as trims and mouldings. Extruded ABS has many other applications, including automotive interiors. With the correct coatings, it can be used for external trims. More recently, ABS has been used for 3D printing.
Extruded ASA is best known for its UV resistance and hence for applications that require a high level of weatherability and, because of this, it is often used for outdoor applications, either as a complete component or as a capping layer over a more UV susceptible polymer.
The most popular external uses of ASA extrusions relate to air handling, ventilation, door trims, signs, garden furniture, frame capping and ventilation grilles. It also has uses in the marine sector and for automotive trims.
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