ADDITIVES: News in Liquid Color

Liquid color is gaining interest as evidenced by suppliers' investments in new products and services.

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Four suppliers of liquid colorants (see cover story), have introduced and are developing new products.

•  With a focus on PET packaging, PolyOne’s ColorMatrix, Berea, Ohio, has launched two new liquid color collection effects to provide differentiated shelf impact. The first collection has formulations that produce effects such as iridescent color movements and unique surface appearances for beverage applications. The second uses dark pigment bases and rich yet subtle tonal effects to convey a sense of quality and sophistication for personal care and cosmetics packaging. The latter are said to mimic the darkness of deep space and interstellar hues. They were inspired by PolyOne’s InVisiO Color Inspirations 2015 New Frontier palette.

            Looking ahead, the company is exploring new formulations and new ways to add liquid color to resins. The physical properties of liquid make it possible to dose colorant further downstream in molding or extrusion processes and this could translate into significant waste, time and cost savings.

The company has also introduced the “eco-friendly” PlanetPack liquid delivery system. The design features a square corrugated cardboard outer box with a recyclable 5.5-gal PE inner liner. It is said to deliver up to 99% product recovery when used in conjunction with the company’s FlexCart volumetric dosing equipment, and to offer more efficient use of space during transport and storage vs. cylindrical drums and pails.

            • Clariant Masterbatches, Charlotte, N.C., reports big advances in development of chemically balanced blends of pigments, additives, and carrier vehicles that extend the usefulness of liquid products beyond PET packaging and other traditional applications. New alternatives to mineral-oil carriers have opened up applications in extrusion blow molding where screw slippage was a chronic problem. Additional components enhance material flow for more complete dispersion, lower processing temperatures and improved weld-line strength.   

Plastic Color Corp., Calumet City, Ill.,  newest product offerings are customized liquid colorants that include the addition of other additives such as from flame retardants, UV stabilzers, antioxidants, fillers, antimicrobials, mold releases and anti-counterfeiting tags.   

•  Riverdale Global, Perth Amboy, N.J., is also developing liquid colorants aimed at packaging and has introduced the Blast interference pearl-like effects and the Metal Expressions metallized effects collections.

            Also new is Riverdale’s patented Maguire 4 PeriStep Liquid Color Pump. The MS4 peristaltic pump is said to accurately meter precise amounts of liquid color directly into the main flow of natural material in both molding and extrusion applications. It features a planetary roller-drive design, requires minimal maintenance, is easy to operate, and allows for quick, clean color changes. It has a cost-efficient stepper motor with no gearbox for precision control. As a result, the MS4 is priced at around $1200 vs. traditional peristaltic pumps that run around $2000.