What is Masterbatch?
Plastics cannot be beautifully manufactured without “Masterbatch”. Masterbatch could serve as an agent of coloration or additive for plastics. As an agent of colouration, it comprises of mixtures of pigments, which enhances the processors to color raw polymers. In addition, it imparts some properties to plastics during the heat process. They are premixed compositions that come in both solid and liquid states. Generally, Masterbatch are made up of chemical additives, dye or pigment, carrier resins and dispersant. They are enclosed in capsules during the heat process into the carrier and later cut into granular shapes when they are cooled.
The use of additives in Masterbatch is optional. Nevertheless, it helps to improve the performance of plastics by making printing of their surfaces easier. They come in pellets or granule form. It serves as agents of light- resistant and heat-resistant. Additives reduces the weight of plastics as the consumption of resins. They include strength boosters, anti-bacteria species, anti-oxidation species, and flame retardant, brightening agents, conductive, anti-static and polycyclers.
The world is a bright and colorful place to live in. This makes colorful objects to be beautiful to behold. Colors are used to attract value, differentiate and symbolize items. The use of color concentrate is also important in manufacturing plastics. There are over two thousands (2000) color Masterbatch available in plastic manufacturing industries. To make color Masterbatch with the accurate color shade, pure raw materials, majorly pigments must be used. The making process, which entails the attachment of the pigment to the resin obtained aggregate, must also be on good machineries. Full concentration should be given to the desirable cloud tone.
The pigments used in color Masterbatch are of two types: organic and inorganic pigments. Organic pigments are the phthalocyanine of different colors (blue, red green), the macromolecules (red and yellow. Some inorganic pigments are carbon black, iron oxide (red and yellow), and cadmium (red and yellow).
At the end of coloration, plastics will have high thermal stability, light fastness, consistency in colors, Ultraviolent resistant, low melting point. They are used for cables, blow, and injection molding, manufacture of layer films
They are the vectors and the core of the Masterbatch. Resins are commonly used as carriers. Different carriers are used based on the polymer(s) but it is advisable to use the same product of resins to make special and unique Masterbatch. The compatibility and mobility of the carriers used must also be taken into consideration when making Masterbatch.
This enables the uniform dispersion of the pigment (dye). Dispersants have low molecular weight and low melting point. It must have good affinity with the pigment and compatibility with the carrier (resin) for better dispersion. Commonly used dispersants are polyethylene wax and stearic acid salt.
The pros in the usage of masterbatch
The use of Masterbatch protects the workers from occupational hazards. I does not soiled the equipment’s used and the industrial environment. It also ensures the easy and quick dispersions of pigments in plastics. It maintains the color and chemical stability of the pigments used in plastic coloration. Masterbatch enables plastic to change color faster and easier.
Cons of using alternatives other than Masterbatches
Masterbatch are known to be the best compared to the alternatives. Other alternatives are the purchase of a full-compounded materials or compounding materials from raw materials on site. Alternatives are prone to color variance, problems in achieving total dispersions of the colorants and additives, wastage in the course of preparing more materials than what is used in the production run. A common alternative of Masterbatch is the “Dust-bonded” pigment powder mixture. It is cheaper and readily available to dye raw polymer
In addition, the use of alternatives expose the carrier and additive to heat, which may affect the marginally stable thermal pigments. They also require more space for storage with long lead times.
Masterbatch ensures a smooth work on plastics as they prevent insufficient dispersion and the removal of both the colorant and additive clumping. It enables the factories to have diverse colored polymers, which is sold for consumer’s consumption. Factories keep stock of fewer grades of polymers with the help of Masterbatch.