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Managing Editor  | June 2017

Article explains color variation in plastic and how it occurs

Tony Bestall, the Director of Silvergate Plastics in Wrexham, U.K., recently wrote a blog post for British Plastics & Rubber Magazine about the process of minimizing color variation in plastic manufacturing to increase efficiency and save time and money.



This article gives tips to avoid discoloration in plastic manufacturing.
(Wikimedia Commons)


“Colour is subjective and has a huge impact on our physiology and psychology, so getting the right colour for a product is essential to widening its appeal, increasing perceived value and retaining the integrity of a brand,” Bestall wrote.


He noted that it is important to avoid using the human eye to judge the accuracy of the color and instead he suggests using a spectrophotometer in a variety of light environments.


“The spectrophotometer can measure the colour of a physical sample and also be used to check the accuracy of a colour match,” said Bestall. “Not only does it identify precise colour coordinates on a spectrum of over twenty million colours but it can store specific references and data, including industry standard RAL and Pantone references.”


Knowing the environment that the end product will be used in is also an important consideration for the masterbatch technician, who can then adjust the type of pigments being used to avoid discoloration or other problems for the product.


Bestall also explained that masterbatches meet color standards but could vary by a small degree. This potential for color difference, however slight, increases when multiple pigments are being used.


He wrote, “When producing a specific colour masterbatch, each pigment will be purchased to an agreed colour difference and will potentially vary up to a maximum of one. If a colour is comprised of several pigments, the resulting masterbatch produced can be different from the masterbatch standard, as the small variances in each pigment can be cumulative. Consequently, masterbatch producers commonly tweak off-shade materials by adjusting the colour back into specification.”


Bestall concluded, “Good quality masterbatch manufacturers ought to be able to discuss such colour variation challenges with plastics processors so unnecessary complications and delays within their manufacturing processes can be avoided.”


Read the full article at http://www.britishplastics.co.uk/blogs/guest-blog/understanding-colour-variation-and-how-it-occurs

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