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Pigment Technology: Searching for a 'Universal Red for Plastics'

SpecialChem / Apr 8, 2002

While buyers and users of plastic articles could be interested in the product's overall appearance or colour, they are unlikely to be concerned about how the colour was achieved. Participants in the production chain know that getting the right colour in the end product is not a simple matter. The task is to choose the right colorants and disperse them in the polymer from which the article is made. Dispersion of colorants, particularly pigments, is a complex subject and beyond the scope of this article. However, even the choice of colorants to be used is a complicated matter and one that requires careful consideration of many aspects. Obviously the chosen combination of pigments must give the right colour and opacity. However, the colorist must also consider polymer type, processing conditions (particularly temperature), ease of dispersion of the pigment, safety aspects during handling and any effect of the pigment on the polymer. Finally, there is the issue of the costs of the pigment, formulation and the whole production operation.

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