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Choosing Masterbatching and Specialty Compounding

When it comes to coloring plastic, manufacturers have different options. Picking the best method depends on many factors, including color, function, and cost. Out of all the possibilities for coloring on the market, masterbatching is amongst the most commonly used. There are many reasons why manufacturers choose masterbatch instead of raw pigments. For those that use pigment and masterbatch interchangeably, it is important to note that although similar they are not the same.

  • A pigment is a dry and solid coloring substance that is suspended in a liquid (dyes, inks, paints).
  • Masterbatch is slightly more advanced than pigments, meaning that masterbatch has pigments and additives that are encapsulated by polymers

Considering the similarities and differences, how does one choose between the two? Speaking with plastic resin suppliers is the best way to determine your needs. Although both options exist, manufactures lean toward masterbatch. This is because:

  • Masterbatch is easier to store because it comes in pellet form
  • Feeding and handling color concentrates are simplified when using masterbatch
  • Pigments can become airborne, and so they can potentially contaminate other manufacturing lines
  • Masterbatch provided more uniform color consistency in plastics
  • Masterbatch has an improved melting process
  • Masterbatch can contain additive concentrates that deliver unique characteristics. Specialty compounding is possible with masterbatching.

Plastic resins suppliers will be able to answer all your questions about masterbatch and specialty compounding.

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