Color Design – Inspiration and Inventiveness
A designer finds his inspiration through external impressions – that is, he has the talent to concentrate his individual perception in the process of finding trends. A certain color scheme that meets
the current zeitgeist is applied to a product line by means of so-called mood boards. In this way, the rather abstract design process is transformed into a very concrete procedure. Now the task is to transfer the color ideas, which are usually realised in paint or print, to a plastics application.
Not all colorants are suitable for every grade of polymer. When adapting a color design to a particular grade of plastic, the color result has to be achieved using alternative colorants. In general, a color objective can be achieved in many different ways, i.e. by using different colorants. However, this results in socalled metamerism effects, where the perceived color differs depending on the incident light source. Usually, a solution can be found, but this demands great skill of the colorist. We are happy to provide you with our service package to solve these individual challenges.
Color Design Versus Technical Feasibility
A shampoo bottle is made of various materials: the bottle body consists of polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the screw cap or snap-on cap is usually made of polypropylene (PP), whilst polystyrene (PS) or styrene-acrylonitrile copolymers (SAN) are used less frequently.
In the next step, all colorations are transferred to the respective plastic grades in a kind of feasibility study. It often turns out that not all color designs can be applied equally well to the different plastics, so that it may be necessary to choose from the best possible approximations. Since the product life cycle of cosmetics packaging is extremely short (<2 years), this process must be very fast, because the start of series production is imminent in this phase.
The possibilities of achieving color effects through the use of special effect pigments are becoming more and more diverse. AF-COLOR is in constant dialogue renowned manufactures, so that we can always provide you with comprehensive advise on the latest trends. In addition to the establised effect pigments, all new developments are available to you at short notice.
Application of a Color Design to Various Polymers
The implementation of the color design often already takes place at the plastics converter, i.e. the manufacturer of the caps and closures. In this process, the support of an expert in both color and plastics who also knows how to assess the effects of the processing on the envisaged colorants (pigments and dyes) is indispensable. The following criteria in particular play a decisive role here:
• Processing temperature of the polymer
• Morphology of the plastic: Soft or hard, opaque or transparent, crystalline or amorphous.
• Rheology of the plastic to be colored: We only use carrier materials for our masterbatches that are individually tailored to your specific application. We resort to universal carriers only at your express request.
• Sensory quality: A beverage cap must not develop any traces of taste or odour that might be transferred to the product. By using colorants that are approved for use in the food/beverage sector, we can minimise this risk.
• Physiological requirements for the raw materials to be used: Various standard specifications must be taken into account here, which, for example, comply with the requirements of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) or the FDA. This is of the utmost importance to us. Our corresponding documentation is regularly updated, so that our material confirmations are in accordance with the current and applicable regulations. It goes without saying that we do not use any toxic substances, such as heavy metal compounds.