Specialty Products

specialAdditives

UV Stabilizers

If your products are predominately used in the great outdoors, UV stabilizers may significantly increase their lifecycle. Inform Plastics supplies masterbatch containing UV stabliser in either a natural or a colour masterbatch without affecting colour quality. Speak to our technical experts today to find out more about the benefits of using a UV Stabilizer.

Antiblock

Antiblock additives can prevent products from inappropriately sticking to surfaces and are routinely added to film and bags. They act by producing a slight roughening of the polymer surface. Typically, antiblock additives are finely divided, solid minerals, but some are waxes. Antiblock agents are mainly used in film extrusion. Families of antiblock agents include natural and synthetic silica, talc, calcium carbonate, EBS.

Antislip

Antislip additives modify the surface properties of polyolefin films to help reduce friction between surfaces. Additives are used to eliminate the sliding of parallel film surfaces over each other or the sliding of film surfaces over substrates.
An antislip agent may improve packaging operations because items will stay in place and not slip.

Antislip agents can:

  • Facilitate increased line speed in the manufacturing process.
  • Enhance packaging machine operations due to reduced CoF (coefficient of friction) values.

Anti-Oxidant

Anti-Oxidants can help prevent damage to plastic during the manufacturing process. Plastic can age rapidly under the effects of light, oxygen and heat, leading to:

  • Loss of strength, stiffness of flexibility
  • Discoloration
  • Scratching and loss of gloss

Processing Stabilizers are antioxidants that are incorporated into the polymer to prevent degradation during processing.

Anti-Static

High electrical charges on the surface of plastics can cause the following problems:

  • Handling problems during transport, storage and packing.
  • Dust contamination, affecting both appearance and performance of end-products.
  • Risk of electrical shocks to employees working at the machines.
  • Risk of electrical discharge causing fire or explosion.

Antistatic agents act to reduce surface resistivity to dissipate high electric charge densities on the surface of plastics. Besides reducing the build-up of electrostatic surface charges and the danger of fire or explosion caused by the electric charge on the surfaces of plastics, antistatic agents:

  • Improve processing efficiency.
  • Reduce transport and packaging problems.
  • Minimise dust pick-up.

Blowing Agent

A blowing agent changes the cellular structure of plastic through a gas foaming process. In simplest terms it can create a honeycomb or "air bubble" effect that has a number of benefits. It can result in a more light-weight product using less material and saving costs and can also improve sound and heat insulation of plastics as well as improving the aesthetic of moulded plastic.

To change the structure of polymers, heat from a barrel causes a thermal decomposition of the material producing a gas which may be either endothermic (heat absorbing) or exothermic (heat generating).

Endothermic foaming agents primarily produce carbon dioxide while exothermic mostly generate nitrogen. The cellular structure in a matrix reduces density and overall weight, increasing thermal and acoustic insulation, while increasing relative stiffness of the original polymer. It can also include the reduction of sinks in moulded plastic parts. Chemical foaming agents are used in a wide range of applications in plastics and rubber processing.

By choosing the right foaming agent system you can achieve:

  • Weight reduction,
  • Raw material and cost saving,
  • Dimensional stability,
  • Heat insulation,
  • Noise absorption,
  • Prevent the formation of sink marks,
  • Special surface effects.

Exothermic foaming agents release heat while decomposing, thus providing a fast and complete decomposition. The effective foaming gas released is mainly nitrogen. The most important exothermic foaming agents are Azodicarbonamide (ADC) and the Sulfonylhydrazides - (OBSH, TSH and BSH).

During the decomposition of endothermic foaming agents heat is consumed. The gas evolution can be controlled by the process temperature. Endothermic foaming agents are physiologically harmless making them suitable for food contact applications. The effective foaming gas is mainly carbon dioxide. Endothermic foaming agents are also used as nucleating agents in physical foaming processes in order to achieve a uniform cell structure.

Nucleating agents

Nucleating agents help improve product stability and can prevent plastic from warping.

Polypropylene is a semi-crystalline polymer. A nucleating agent increases the crystallization rate and the overall percent crystallinity of the polymer. The faster crystallization rate allows for higher productivity in decreasing the moulding cycle time and extrusion processes. The overall percentage crystallinity of the polymer improves the stiffness and heat deflection temperature.

By influencing the crystallization process, nucleating agents also affect the differential shrinkage of polypropylene. Since differential shrinkage is an important factor in part warpage, the selection of a nucleating agent can have a pronounced effect on the dimensional stability of a final part.

Process aid

Polymer Processing Aids (Additives) are multipurpose extrusion additives that are used in a variety of extrusion processes and thermoplastic resins. Resins benefiting from Process Aids include polyolefins such as LLDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, LDPE, EVA and PP. Process Aids also provide benefits in other resins such as PVC, acrylic, nylon, PET, and polystyrene. Benefits seen include melt fracture elimination, die build-up reduction, gel reduction, improved pigment dispersion, more rapid color changeovers and reduced back pressure resulting in improved output.

Pigments

Fluorescent

Fluorescent colours are extra bright and often referred to as "neon." Under normal daylight, fluorescent materials absorb some wavelengths of light and reflect others, just as other materials do.

Fluorescent pigments are available in a wide range and chroma which also 'glow' when exposed to the long-wave "ultraviolet" frequencies (UV). These UV frequencies are found in sunlight and some artificial lights. In fluorescence the visible light component—sometimes known as "white light"—tends to be reflected and perceived normally, as colour; while the UV component of light is modified, 'stepped down' energetically into longer wavelengths, producing additional visible light frequencies, which are then emitted alongside the reflected white light. Human eyes perceive these changes as the unusual 'glow' of fluorescence.

Out-of-doors, however, UV wavelengths are rapidly scattered in space or absorbed by complex natural surfaces, dulling the effect. Furthermore, the complex pigments will degrade quickly in sunlight.

Glow in the dark (Luminescent or phosphorescent)

Whether you're looking for fun or have serious business to conduct the use of luminescent or phosphorescent products will deliver. Used in a variety of products from promotional goods and children's toys to more serious practical applications like safety signs, these products are luminescent in the dark.

There are effectively two types of luminous pigments. One is based on zinc sulphide and the other on strontium aluminates. Our technical experts can help you make the right selection. These luminous pigments are widely available and come with varying 'afterglow' effects. Generally, strontium pigments are brighter and have a longer lasting afterglow than their zinc sulphide counterparts. While green is the most popular luminescent, pinky red, pastel blue, orange and yellow are now available. Speak to our technical experts to discuss processing requirements.

Care needs to be taken in processing these products as they are highly abrasive.

Edge Glows

Colorants that provide a fluorescent "neon" edge glow effect in clear polymers. The colorants can also be used in other clear resins such as acrylic and clear ABS. Available colors include transparent orange, red, yellow and blue shades. They feature easy dispersion and favourable thermal stability. Depending on the thickness of the application, the letdown ratio is 50:1 or 100:1.

Other specialty masterbatches

Pearls

Like "mother of pearl", the iridescent layer of material inside many shells found on the beach, our pearlescents will add a feel of value and quality to your products. Pigment coated mica platelets are used to produce beautiful effects. However, because the final product results of this material are heavily impacted by light sources and colour choice, our technical experts will advise you on the best circumstances for its use.

Fragrance

Whether you want to provide a sensory experience or a practical solution, there are now a large range of fragrances for use in your products. If you want to neutralise a smells, or repel insects, we can source a suitable fragrance for you.

Optical brighteners

Fluorescent Whitening agents are also called Optical brighteners. These additives can:

  • Brighten colours.
  • Mask natural yellowing of plastics.
  • Improve initial colour.
  • Enhance transparency (water white effect).

These Fluorescent whitening agents work via a fluorescent mechanism which absorbs light in the UV spectrum and emits light in the blue region of visible spectrum to yield a brighter and fresher appearance.

Speck / Fiber / Granite effects

Natural stone-like finishes, aluminium and glitter effects are very popular and come in a variety of forms. By mixing dissimilar masterbatch products we can achieve different effects. Similarly, different coloured specks made of non-polymeric materials, such as aluminium glitter particles can be supplied in a colour masterbatch.
Speak to our technical experts today to achieve your desired results!

IR Reflectors

Infrared reflectors are products which allow sunlight to pass through them but reflect the sector of IR wavelength that carries heat. They may be used in agricultural film, hothouse rooves or drink containers. Other applications include products such as PVC windows and doors where long term exposure to the IR heat from sunlight causes warping and shrinking.

Laser Marking

Marking polymer materials using laser energy has been commonplace for many years and has evolved to produce better marks, more rapidly and with more flexibility. The growth in laser marking applications is driven by an increasing need for parts identification and traceability, both during manufacturing and in their finished form.

Compared to traditional ink-based technologies, laser marking provides the following benefits:

  • Indelible Marking.
  • Fast, programmable (milliseconds per character).
  • Environmentally clean.
  • Reduced supply inventory (no inks, pads, stamps, solvents, drying process).

Today, 90% of laser marking applications are "non-aesthetic" such as bar codes, expiration dates, identification numbers, and specifications. This is very useful for parts that incur high liability in the case of failure. Other aesthetic applications consist of company logos and product differentiation. Anti-counterfeiting challenges represent new opportunities for laser marking as well.

Thermochromic

Thermochromic colours are products which change in shade under the influence of temperature - usually changing from colour to colour or colour to clear.

Typically, thermochromic products are produced by specialist manufacturers and must be purchased from overseas sources.

A standard range is available with a set activation temperature and various colours available (see diagram). Masterbatch based on these products are very expensive with prices over $200/kg depending upon order sizes.

Photochromics

Photochromic colours are two phase colours which are activated by UV light. These colours typically change from transparent pastel shades to intense Reds, Greens, Violets, Yellows, Oranges and Blues. Other colourants can be used in conjunction with these products to give additional shades and effects. These products work very well in semi-crystalline polymers and to a lesser effect in some of the amorphous polymers.