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Colouring plastics: fundamentals and trends

SpecialChem / Aug 13, 2001

Colour masterbatches, or colour concentrates, find applications in many areas of plastics processing. Blow, injection and rotational moulding, extrusion, calendering, and wire and cable manufacturing all depend on them. The masterbatches contain a high loading of colourants, also known as pigments or dyes, in a carrier resin. Richard Abrams, Mir Ali, Paul Denton, Juan Igualada, Martin Groen and Eddy Gschwind of Ferro present an overview of the subject of colour with a view to understanding the complex tasks that colour engineers face. Colour is all around us. It is important in our daily lives and we learn from birth to react to colours logically or emotionally. Colours have meaning, which vary from culture to culture and continent to continent. In many societies, it governs and controls traffic: red means stop, green means go, or acts as a warning: blue means cold, red means hot. Colour is also used to describe moods - green with envy, feeling blue or seeing red. Three things are required for the presence of colour. One may think of colour as the property of an object only, but without the presence of light, there is no way of seeing the colour.

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