Color Masterbatch Formulation

Generally, color masterbatch additions in the resin are finally 2-5%. If mixed and added correctly, the carrier resin content in the final mixture will account for 1-3% or more. This makes it the largest additive content in the additive family. Therefore, some details should be considered when selecting the carrier resin. For example, the user’s requirements for color, color stability, environment, and the role played by the masterbatch in the final product make the formulation of masterbatches increasingly complex.

Color masterbatch generally chooses the same resin as the product resin as the carrier because of the best compatibility of the two. However, in complex situations, not only the fluidity but also the pigment dispersity and mixed distributivity need to be considered. Only by unifying and balancing these complex properties can we arrive at the most suitable masterbatch formulation.

Specifically, the five principles of carrier selection in masterbatch formulations are compatibility, fluidity, processability, high viscosity, and applicability.

Color Masterbatch

Compatibility

Compatibility refers to the ability of two substances to accommodate each other, which means the structure of the carrier resin and the resin to be colored are the same or similar. Conventionally, the carrier resin and the matrix resin should select the same type of polymer, in order to ensure the good chemical compatibility with each other. However, the coloring quality of products will be infected if the same type of resin is incompatible.

Even the use of polyethylene wax as the carrier of the universal masterbatch is bound to have some defects when dealing with engineering plastics, and the surface is prone to “peeling”. Therefore, the existing market scale of universal masterbatch is far from the expected goal.

Fluidity

It means that the fluidity of the carrier resin of the masterbatch itself should be good, and the melt flow rate of the carrier should be higher than that of the resin to be colored.

In this way, the ideal flow of the masterbatch with a high melt flow rate occurs more easily in the coloring screw and is more easily dispersed in a large number of resins.

What should be paid attention to is that the molecular weight ultimately determines the performance of the resin. A carrier resin with high melt flow rates may cause product performance to deteriorate during final processing and molding, especially the coloring of engineering plastics. Suppose a carrier resin with a molecular weight similar to that of the resin to be colored is selected. In that case, the flowability of the masterbatch as a whole can be improved with an appropriate amount of lubricant, i.e., the melt index of the masterbatch can be increased; otherwise, the low molecular weight resin is prone to degradation, and may even seriously affect the appearance of the product.

Sometimes, it is explicitly required that no dispersant is allowed to be added to the masterbatch in some coloring products, and then the selection of a suitable carrier resin becomes more important.

Color Masterbatch

High viscosity

High viscosity and good fluidity of resin seem like a contradiction. but the high melt viscosity of the carrier resin will result in high shear viscosity of the system, and the greater the shear force conducted to the pigment particles by the melt resin will be in favor of the dispersion of the pigment particles.

Therefore, how to unify the contradictions requires comprehensive consideration in the selection of carriers.

Processability

Processability refers to meeting the needs of the production process. Many practical experiences and statistical results show that the final dispersion properties obtained by using powdered resins for production are better than those obtained by using granular resins.
One obvious difference is that powdered resins can complete the melting process quickly in the equipment due to their small particle size, which means that the pigment particles can be wetted earlier and enter the wetting and dispersing process. At the same time, the homogeneity of the mixing between the powders is extremely high, which also effectively increases the speed of wetting.

To improve the quality of masterbatches, masterbatch manufacturers need to take into account the differences in the morphology of different carrier resins in their formulations. Even though, not all resins on the market are available in powder form. It will be better for masterbatch producers have their own grinding equipment, which means the resins can be partially or completely ground and then used in the production of masterbatches. In this way, the quality of the products can be improved and guaranteed.

Color Masterbatch

Applicability

Carriers need to fulfill not only the production needs of the customer, but also the needs of the product. This means that the carrier needs to be suitable for both the surface and intrinsic quality requirements of the product. This means that the carrier needs to be suitable for both surface and intrinsic quality requirements of the product. When the color masterbatch is used for plastic coloring, the mechanical properties of plastic products should not be affected by improper use of the carrier.

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