Additive Masterbatch

The successful use of plastic materials in many applications, such as in the automotive industry, the electronics sector, the packaging and manufacturing of consumer goods, is substantially attributable to the incorporation of additives into virgin (and recycled) resins. Polymer industry is impossible without additives. Additives in plastics provide the means whereby processing problems, property performance limitations and restricted environmental stability are overcome. In the continuous quest for easier processing, enhanced physical properties, better long-term performance and the need to respond to new environmental health regulations, additive packages continue to evolve and diversify.

Additives can mean ingredients for plastics but they play a crucial role also in other materials, such as coatings, lacquers and paints, printing inks, photographic films and papers, and their processing. In this respect there is a considerable overlap between the plastics industry and the textiles, rubber, adhesives and food technology industries. For example, pigments can be used outside the plastics industry in synthetic fibres, inks, coatings, and rubbers, while plasticisers are used in energetic materials formulations (polymeric composite explosives and propellants). Additives for plastics are therefore to be seen in the larger context of specialty chemicals.

Polymer and coatings additives are ideal specialty chemicals: very specific in their application and very effective in their performance, usually with a good deal of price inelasticity.

An additive is a substance which is incorporated into plastics to achieve a technical effect in the finished product, and is intended to be an essential part of the finished article. Some examples of additives are antioxidants, antistatic agents, antifogging agents, emulsifiers, fillers, impact modifiers, lubricants, plasticisers, release agents, solvents, stabilisers, thickeners and UV absorbers. Additives may be either organic (e.g. alkyl phenols, hydroxybenzophenones), inorganic (e.g. oxides, salts, fillers) or organometallic (e.g. metallocarboxylates, Ni complexes, Zn accelerators).

Useful materials could only be obtained if certain additives were incorporated into the polymer matrix, in a process normally known as 'compounding'. Additives confer on plastics significant extensions of properties in one or more directions, such as general durability, stiffness and strength, impact resistance, thermal resistance, resistance to flexure and wear, acoustic isolation, etc. The steady increase in demand for plastic products by industry and consumers shows that plastic materials are becoming more performing and are capturing the classical fields of other materials. This evolution is also reflected in higher service temperature, dynamic and mechanical strength, stronger resistance against chemicals or radiation, and odourless formulations.

Consequently, a modern plastic part often represents a high technology product of material science with the material's properties being not in the least part attributable to additives. Additives (and fillers), in the broadest sense, are essential ingredients of a manufactured polymeric material. An additive can be a primary ingredient that forms an integral part of the end product's basic characteristics, or a secondary ingredient which functions to improve performance and/or durability. Polypropylene is an outstanding example showing how polymer additives can change a vulnerable and unstable macromolecular material into a high-volume market product. The expansion of polyolefin applications into various areas of industrial and every-day use was in most cases achieved due to the employment of such speciality chemicals.

Additives may be monomeric, oligomeric or high polymeric (typically: impact modifiers and processing aids). They may be liquid-like or high-melting and therefore show very different viscosity compared to the polymer melt in which they are to be dispersed.

Additives are needed not only to make resins processable and to improve the properties of the moulded product during use. As the scope of plastics has increased, so has the range of additives: for better mechanical properties, resistance to heat, light and weathering, flame retardancy, electrical conductivity, etc. The demands of packaging have produced additive systems to aid the efficient production of film, and have developed the general need for additives which are safe for use in packaging and other applications where there is direct contact with food or drink.

Generally, polymer modification by additives provides a cost-effective and flexible means to alter polymer properties. Traditionally, however, the use of an additive is very property-specific in nature, with usually one or two material enhancements being sought. An additive capable of enhancing one property often does so at the cost of a separate trait. Today many additives are multifunctional and combine different additive functionalities such as melt and light stabilisation or metal deactivation and antioxidation.

The benefits of plastics additives are not marginal. They are not simply optional extras but essential ingredients, which make all the difference between success and failure in plastics technology. Typically, PVC is a material whose utility is greatly determined by plasticisers and other additives.

Features & Benefits

Processing

  • Rheology of polymer melt
  • Improved mold fill operation
  • Suppression of melt fracture
  • Improved mold release
  • Increased productivity
  • Lubrication
  • Higher filler content

Surface modification

  • Improved scratch resistance
  • Suppression of shark skin
  • Lowered surface roughness
  • Improved chemical resistance
  • Improved water resistance

Material property enhancer

  • Improved impact strengh
  • Reduced brittleness
  • Higher plasticity
  • Higher elongation
  • Enhanced flame resistance
  • Improved low temperature stability
  • Improved heat distortion temperature

Applications

  • Injection Molding
  •  Blow molding
  • Film Extrusion
  • Sheet Extrusion
  • PP and PE woven sack extrusion
  • Roto moulding
  • PP and PE Mono filaments
  • Pipe Extrusion