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Antioxidants Preserve Plastic Colors

Antioxidants are another important functional additive to keep in mind when looking for product solutions. Antioxidants help preserve the appearance and physical properties of plastics. They are added to the polymer to help slow down the speed at which its physical properties will degrade. By maintaining the material’s property profile when it’s being manufactured, the antioxidant will help the plastic last longer and not break down as quickly.

Once formulated, a masterbatch is sent in pellet form to, for example, the compounder or manufacturer to be formed in the end application. During this process, the polymer undergoes many processing steps. Each step can cause degradation, a result of the combined action of shear, heat, and oxygen during processing.


One of the primary uses of this functional additive includes the prevention of oxidation reactions. Antioxidants guard against oxidation which is an important factor when processing thermoplastics. Oxidation, if not prevented, can effect the polymer by adverse color change, loss of flexibility, loss of tensile strength and elongation, reduced impact resistance, cracking, and other surface deterioration. Oxidation can also affect the molecular weight of a polymer, which in turn affects its physical properties.


From a chemistry perspective, when a molecular chain breaks down, the polymer is exposed to oxidation without the use of an antioxidant functional additive. Antioxidants inhibit the oxidation process, thereby enhancing the stability of polymers against light and heat.

Plastics Color has a 50 + year history of working with polymers and formulating to meet the needs of an end application. There are different antioxidants available based on your end application, resin, processing requirements, and more. We take the knowledge and expertise of our scientists and customer formulate an additive masterbatch or include the additive in your colorant package. Questions? Email –

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