Color concentrates for plastics – should we choose organic or inorganic pigments?

Color concentrates for plastics, also called color masterbatch, were no longer a strange concept to various plastic products producers. Using masterbatch is the easiest way to add functional additives and color concentrations for plastics. So choosing masterbatch with explicit origin and appropriate components matching the properties of base resin and producing purposes is a considerable problem for any manufacturers.

Color masterbatch including inorganic color concentrates for plastics – Pros and Cons

In the world of masterbatch, most manufacturers use a variety of inorganic origin colors to create a colorful look to their final products. Inorganic color concentrations for plastics mainly originate from geological and mineral deposits which are formed and accumulated over thousands of years. Because of the formation from ancient times, the inorganic coloring pigments resources are extremely abundant in reserves. Thanks to this advantage, color masterbatch producers can save a lot of production and exploiting costs. As a result, finished product prices are also more reduced and become competitive.

Color concentrates for plastics

Other advantages of inorganic color concentrates for plastics came from their properties

Another reason why inorganic pigments are widely used as color concentrations for plastics is because they have excellent mechanical and thermal properties. Color pigments with inorganic origin have high heat resistance. They are durable in harsh weather conditions and can keep colors long even when exposed to sunlight and UV light for a long time. In addition, inorganic colorants are also inert and rarely react with other common chemicals.

In addition to the above reasons, when compared to organic pigments, inorganic pigments are more likely to easily disperse in base resin, so they can be used in more applications. This dispersion capacity of color masterbatch is governed by its size and chemical properties on its own surface. On the other hand, the dispersion ability of pigment particles will directly affect the quality of the masterbatch, which leads to the quality of plastic products. Minimal dispersion pigments are often chosen to increase the number of outputs in production units.

What are disadvantages of inorganic color concentrates for plastics?

Despite of bringing many advantages to the masterbatch production, inorganic color concentrations for plastics also exist a few disadvantages, such as the given color is not fresh and vibrant, the intensity of color is not strong and the products containing them are easily getting turbid because of the high index of refraction.  In addition, the color diversity of inorganic color products is limited. They are generally just basic colors, so plastic masterbatch made of inorganic pigments will be suitable to produce products with simple colors (white, black) or to be blended with other colors in color palette.

Color concentrates for plastics eup

>>Read more: Batch colors vs other colorants: which is the best for plastic production?

Will organic color concentrates for plastics be better than inorganic one?

The color masterbatch in which the composition containing organic coloring has 2 advantages that are superior to inorganic coloring masterbatch. First, they have very good heat and light resistance. Second, these compounds do not contain (or contain very little) heavy metal elements. Most of these are extracted or sourced from plants so they are friendly to both human and environment.

Organic coloranrs used in plastics industry have smaller particle sizes than inorganic colors. Organic color concentrates for plastics possess more bright and eye-catching colors than plastic made from inorganic ingredients, however for those products that require long-term use, inorganic colors are preferred over plastic. Organic colors cannot withstand the effects of weather (such as continuous exposure to the sun) or the effects of chemical exposure. Under these conditions, the color effect from organic pigments is easily faded and disappeared.

What are disadvantages of organic color concentrates for plastics?

Organic colorants has some outstanding features than inorganic color, however, the ability to display the color, especially the ability to achieve the necessary opacity for the product, is not as good as color masterbatch with inorganic ingredients. Disadvantages of organic colorants will generally depend on the nature of each dye or pigment. Most organic pigments are primarily used for applications that require high color intensity and brilliant shades while inorganic pigments are primarily useful when high opacity is needed. Another drawback of organic color concentrates for plastics is that they are more expensive than inorganic colors. Therefore, producing color master batch with organic ingredients will not bring much economic value as producing by inorganic coloring compounds.

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