How to recycle an industrial ABS filament

It must have happened to anyone to find oneself with old filament scraps from extrusions and wondered how to use them to avoid any waste.
We have experienced this situation several times as well. That’s why we decided to show you how to recycle filaments and recover a new coil ready for your printer!

In our case, the filament in excess was a combination of ABS filaments, more specifically industrial filament scraps, which would surely have been wasted otherwise.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, better-known as ABS, is a material with interesting properties which are worth analyzing before proceeding.
Firstly, ABS is shock-resistant and high-temperature resistant (it offers a wide array of temperatures: from -20°C to 80°C). Secondly, it allows chemical welding with acetone. The melting temperature of an ABS filament is set around 200ºC and requires a printing temperature between 230ºC and 260ºC.
Besides guaranteeing a high anti-shock level and low moisture absorption, it also offers mechanical endurance and impact-resistance. ABS is often used for coating objects, toys or objects in the automotive sector.



Before proceeding with the extrusion process, it is good practice to remove any moisture absorbed over time by the material. Being waste, it is likely that they have not been kept in a warm and dry place; the drying of the material is a necessary step for the success of extrusion.

Within a few hours, the material is ready to be poured into the Felfil Evo tank. Since the filament waste used was in small scales already, it was not necessary to shred it. Larger scraps should be shredded using Felfil Shredder or any plastic shredder instead.
Extrusion requires the ABS standard parameters : 205ºC as regards temperatures and 9 rpm.
The result is in line with our expectations: from the ABS colored scales we managed to get an excellent filament ready to be used in the printer.


ABS printing

After obtaining a spool with the desired amount of filament, you can proceed by printing. We didn’t encounter any difficulties in the printing process but we can certainly state that for a high-precision result it would be better to use an Enclosure printer. Make sure that the printer plate is clean, so that the first layer of ABS adheres perfectly.


Our filament came out from industrial waste, but the experiment can be reproduced with any household filament scraps without any parameter changes.
By recycling the filaments you can reuse the waste produced during the extrusion processes, minimize waste and attain new spools at no cost.
This time we started from filament scraps to create a new spool, but what if we tried to recycle ABS objects? In the next experiment we will try to recycle the ABS used for the desktop printer case. Will the results be as good as the previous test? Keep following us to not miss any news!


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