What is a masterbatch (MB)?
Masterbatch (MB) is a solid or liquid additive for plastic used for coloring plastics (color masterbatch) or imparting other properties to plastics (additive masterbatch). Masterbatch is a concentrated mixture of pigments and/or additives encapsulated during a heat process into a carrier resin which is then cooled and cut into a granular shape. Masterbatch allows the processor to color raw polymer economically during the plastics manufacturing process.
What is the advantage of using masterbatch (MB) ?
- Low stock holding compared with pre-compounded materials.
- Optimum dispersion of pigments/additives.
- Dust free, no health and safety risks in comparison to undispersed fine powder pigments or additives.
- Elimination of ‘trial and error’ development or formulation work, as this done by the masterbatch supplier who takes responsibility for color and consistency.
- Reduction in purging/cleaning costs.
- Compared to compounds the masterbatch approach open to variable range of colors and other properties. The alternatives to using masterbatches are buying a fully compounded material (which is more expensive and less open to e.g. color variability of the product), or compounding from raw materials on site (which is prone to issues with achieving full dispersion of the colorants and additives, and prone to preparing more material than what is used for the production run).
- The use of masterbatch allows the factory to keep stock of fewer grades of the polymer, and to buy cheaper natural polymer in bulk.
- The masterbatch can be fairly highly concentrated (in comparison with the target composition), with “let-down ratios”; e.g. one 25 kg bag can be used for a ton of natural polymer. The relatively dilute nature of masterbatch (in comparison with the raw additives) allows higher accuracy in dosing small amounts of expensive components.
- The compact nature of the grains of solid masterbatch eliminates problems with dust, otherwise inherent for fine-grained solid additives. Solid masterbatch are also solvent-free; therefore they tend to have longer shelf life as the solvent won’t evaporate over time.
What is LDR?
LDR is “let down ratio” it is the dosage or concentration level at which a masterbatch is incorporated into the base polymer. Hence an LDR of 2 (%) is 98 % polymer, 2% masterbatch.
What is common LDR or concentration of a masterbatch usage?
The masterbatch usually contains 5-25% of the color and/or additive, but the range can be as wide as 5-80% in extreme cases.
How to use masterbatch?
Step 1: Confirm the percentage of adding proportion.
Step2: Mix the material and the masterbatch together by the blender mixer according to the appending proportion.
Step 3: Continue the process as normal
Which is most common carrier for masterbatch?
The carrier material of the masterbatch can better to be a specific polymer, identical or compatible with the natural polymer used (polymer-specific). E.g. LDPE, PP, PC, PET, polystyrene can be used for GPPS, ABS, SAN. When a carrier different than the base plastic is used, the carrier material may modify the resulting plastic’s properties; where this could be important, the carrier resin has to be specified. The carrier material can be a universal carrier also like wax, EVA etc. However it is better to use a MB which has good compatibility with the customers. Universal masterbatch employs a carrier system that is capable of carrying the high quantities of additives necessary to deliver the end use properties required as well as affording the essential compatibility required across a broad range of polymers.
Limitations of universal masterbatch with respect to tailor made masterbatch?
Universal masterbatch are normally readily available from stock, in small quantities and are cost effective if used correctly. However, in terms of compatibility, they are a compromise and processing difficulties can arise with some materials and engineering polymers that may have to be pre-dried. They are not recommended for use at high dosage levels as the appearance or physical properties of the final product may be adversely affected.
General factors which affects the properties and dosage of color masterbatch
Typical determining factors might be service conditions like climatic conditions, processing conditions heats stability, weatherability or light fastness, and thickness and opacity requirements.
How masterbatch is made?
In simple terms, manufacture is a two-stage process: gathering ingredients and then mixing them together by applying heat and shear to produce a homogenized pellet. Generally high or low speed mixers are used to produce a pre-mix of the additives which is then compounded on roller mills, kneaders, single or twin screw extruders. Even distribution (dispersion) and development (breaking down) of the additives throughout the carrier are essential. This processing depends on several key elements: formulation, quality of raw materials, quality of mixing and compounding plant. Finally, the finished masterbatch is pelletized (die-face or strand cut or round).
What are all the type of masterbatch EnerPlastics manufacturing and selling?
We offer a big range masterbatch for our customers to choose from based on requirements. We provide tailor made solutions for commodity o engineering plastics applications. The broad category for the same would include color, additive, special effect masterbatch in addition to white and black masterbatch. We have 20,000+ color grades and wide variety of additive masterbatch.
Our product range varies from:
- Additive Masterbatch
- Including Antioxidant, UV, Oxo-Biodegradable, Antislip and Slip, Antiblock, Antistatic, Antimicrobial, Processing Aids, IR, Alcohol Repellent, Blowing Agent, Light Diffuser, Optical Brightener, Fragrance, Chain Extender, Glow in Dark, Clarifying and Nucleating Agents.
- Color Masterbatch
- A catalog of 17,500+ color recipes for use in various polymers (including PE, PP, PET, PC, Styrene’s, Acrylic, Polyamides etc.).
- Special Effect Masterbatch
- Including Pearlescent, Metallic, Fluorescent and Fragrance masterbatch.
Which are key industries where masterbatch is used?
- Extrusion applications
- Packaging (Flexible and rigid)
- Consumer products
- Artificial grass
- Textiles and non-woven
- Agricultural and Industrial films
- Caps and closures
- Wire and Cable
- Building and Constructions
- Electrical and Electronics
What type of packaging option do you provide?
We provide color masterbatch in 25 kgs laminated (woven) PP bags. The additive masterbatch is packed in special 20 kgs UV stabilized-transparent heavy duty PE valve bags. Product can also be supplied in octobins or 500 kgs FIBC bags when required. For Oxo-Biodegradable masterbatch we supply in special Aluminum valve bags with vacuum sealing to hinder contact with air to prevent oxidation of additive, and sealed from light to prevent photo oxidation, thus ensuring quality integrity during storage.
Export products are shipped with a green UV stabilized pallet covers to protect the material.
How to order masterbatch?
There are two ways:
(1) Give a sample to us and inform the following:
Step 1: Confirm the carrier. The carrier of masterbatch must be the same with the material.
Step 2: Confirm the required color and/or other properties.
Step 3: Application
Then we will make a tailor made sample for you and will provide a trial quantity and based on that you can confirm the commercial order.
(2) If the customer doesn’t have strict requirement of the color, then they can inform us the general international color index number (eg. Pantone).
Do you provide a combo masterbatch?
Yes, Enerplastics make customized combination of color and additive masterbatch based on the end application of the customer. These combination masterbatch that associate color with functional additives, for example UV stabilizers, anti-oxidants, anti-static additives.
Does the masterbatch need to be dried before use?
In general it can be used directly except for styrenic and polycondensation polymers like PET, PC and some special masterbatch mentioned, which should be dried according to common method and processing condition mentioned in TDS.
Does the masterbatches influence the property of products?
Some pigments have effect on flame resistance. If used for flame resistance, products should be mentioned as first the detailed applications. Also some additive masterbatch can’t add together also in same layers of films since they have adverse effect while using in combination. So in all cases it is better to consult our technical department for details.
What is storage condition and shelf life of masterbatch and how long it can be stored?
If stored under a dry and cool environment, shelf life in these conditions may exceed 12 months. Keep bags stored in a dry and cool place below 35°C, protected from sunlight & tightly closed to avoid contamination and the quality of masterbatch will not change even after a long period of storage in these conditions.