How is Plastics colored?

Methods to color plastic besides color masterbatch

There are some ways to color plastic in industrial production including color masterbatch. Manufacturer can use pigment, precolors or color masterbatch.

1. Pigment

Pigments are insoluble organic or inorganic particles added to the polymer base to give a specific color to the plastic. Pigments that are organic in nature are hard to disperse and tend to form agglomerates (clumps of pigment particles). These agglomerates can cause spots and specks in the final product. While inorganic pigments like: Metal oxides and sulphides, carbon black, etc. get more easily dispersed in the resin. Amongst the inorganic pigments titanium dioxide is the most widely used pigment in the plastics industry.

2. Precolors

Processors without experience handling custom color matches often select precolored resins for their ease-of-use. Engineering resins that require high masterbatch let down ratios also benefit from precoloring because pigments are completely polymerized into a resin package and is used by molders as supplied.

3. Color masterbatch

The most common method used by molders, masterbatches consist of concentrated pigments dispersed into a polymer carrier resin – so called color masterbatch. During molding the masterbatch is let down into natural resin as it is feed into the press at a predefined ratio to achieve the desired color. Color masterbatch are the most economical method to color masterbatch plastics and can be provided in small volumes. Depending on the carrier selected, the same color masterbatch may be used to color several different resins, or be chosen for maximum compatibility and processing ease.

Color masterbatch for coloring plastic

Colored masterbatch are composed of many additives to give special properties to colored plastic beads such as: waterproof, anti-fog, anti-block, flame retardant, antioxidant, fillers, foaming agent, optical brightener, detergent, process enhancer, fragrance, anti-slip substances, ultraviolet absorbent and inhibitor.

Color masterbatch is applied in many field of plastic industry that create the convenience and effectiveness for the production:

+ Film blowing, film extrusion (packaging film, elastic film, agricultural and construction film, diaphragm, garbage bag, multi-layer bag)

+ Blowing film

+ Injection molding: home appliances, toys, garden furniture, potted plants, buckets, boxes, electronics, barrels, boxes …)

+ Blow molding of bottles

+ Extrusion of sheets, fibers and cables

In the variety of application and wide range of plastic product, the color chart is also very wide, each color has many shades. To get the exact color for your product, the best solution is to analyze the color from the sample plastic product.

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