Customer-Focused Masterbatch Expertise
Color has become an indispensable part of the consumer goods market segment. It no longer serves only to differentiate, but also represents the values and image of a brand. What is more, it tands for a certain level of quality, so that the coloration of an article also signifies a promise of quality and function. “Form follows function”: this design principle says that the function of a device
takes precedence over the actual design.
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.
In addition to coloration, material properties are also of great importance, e.g. to achieve a certain mechanical strength. UV exposure has a damaging effect on all polymer materials over a certain period of time, so that these mechanical properties can be lost. Additional stabilisers are therefore necessary (e.g. UV absorbers), which can be added together with the coloring components of a masterbatch formulation – in this case we speak of a combimasterbatch (combination of color and additive).
Appliances – White Goods
Color can also constitute a specific requirement for the end use, as in the area of household appliances for example (washing machines and refrigerators), where the color white symbolises purity and hygiene.
All plastic products are subject to ageing processes. These can be slowed down by the use of additives. The photos show the phenomenon of ageing on a flower pot made of PP (so-called chalking). The metric commonly used here is the CIELab reflectance measurement, which analyses the spectralcomponents of the light type used (D65, TL84, A10) as they are reflected by the component.
High Standards for Children’s Health: Every toy manufacturer has a duty to eliminate any risk potential with regard to the possible health risks. This applies equally to all raw materials used: Every formulation ingredient of a masterbatch must also comply with DIN EN 71-3 for infants under 3 years of age.
The automotive industry places the
highest demands on masterbatch manufacturers in terms of color accuracy and delivery consistency. If an automotive supplier produces components directly at the injection moulding machine using masterbatch and natural material, the supplier is responsible for complying with the corresponding and very strict tolerances.
The advantages, such as lower fixed costsand optimised warehousing, offer greater flexibility in purchasing as well as in scheduling and logistics. Flexibility is particularly advantageous where, for example, large quantities of a natural material can be purchased, if necessary as silo product, and where corresponding price advantages can be achieved.
Power Tools – Strong Colors for Powerful Applications
Power tools include all types of electrically riven tools, for the doit-yourselfer as well as for the professional user. Protection against electricity (dielectric strength), mechanical strength and thermal stability are the essential requirements. These requirements for the properties of the polymer must not be changed or reduced by coloring with a masterbatch. AF-COLOR offers color and additive concentrates which fulfil these necessaryproperties. In addition, we offer a range of suitable polymers through our parent company AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH. Most of the materials used in the “power tools” plastic application are PA 6.6 grades that are impact-modified and filled with glass fibre.
A Well-Trained Eye
This presents our colorists with the challenge of finding the suitable pigment or dye from a very limited colorant portfolio. Special attention must be paid to temperature stability in injection moulding applications: It is not unusual for an injection-moulded component to be manufactured in a hot runner mould. If, for example, PA 6.6 GF 30 is used, melting points >320 °C are reached for a short time. Many pigments already lose their properties at 260 to 280 °C. The higher the requirements, the more limited the number of colorants available. The fact that the desired color objective is nevertheless achieved is due to the expertise of our colorists, who face these challenges on a daily basis.
It goes without saying that our trained and experienced employees in quality control are only provided with working equipment of the latest standards. Based on the quality criteria agreed with our customers, we comprehensively test all products before they leave our factory. Proper documentation is provided with our deliveries on the basis of our inspection certificates (IC).