Color is critical! Just ask any brand owner, specifically of consumer products, how color helps to identify their particular brand for a particular product. Consumers are very attuned to looking at the colors of products on the very crowded shelves of retail stores to help them find their favorite products.
Liquid colorants for plastics have become increasingly popular for processors for several reasons: easier handling through automated dispersion systems which minimizes human interface; it can be used with almost any type of resin system for thermoplastics as well as thermosets; and is suitable for a broad range of applications and plastic processes including injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding.
Liquid color should be viewed as an alternative to color resin concentrates for specific manufacturing processes or applications, not a “replacement” for concentrates. In some applications a blend of liquid color and color concentrate is the ideal combination for maximizing efficiencies. Working with your color provider such as PCC can help you determine which color type – liquid or concentrate – is best for your process and/or application.
While most processors like the ease of using liquid color, it does require additional equipment for metering (dosing) the color from its container into the resin. Liquid color is not just a single piece of equipment, but is a complete “system” for dosing. There are a couple of types of systems: volumetric systems which dose by volume, and gravimetric (a loss weight) systems.
PCC offers its LiquiSol™ system which is designed to integrate into a customer’s operation, and provides highly accurate dosing equipment. Typically liquid color can be more accurately metered than pellets or powder, which gives processors the ability to achieve consistent color throughout the product’s run. Consistency of color is key to reduced scrap and thus more cost effective for processors and brand owners.
Cleanliness is also key! Good maintenance of the liquid color systems is required to achieve optimum color and dosing accuracy run-after-run. Don’t forget good inventory control as well. Older containers of liquid color must be checked carefully before using as the color can fall out of suspension or separate from the carrier.
When color is critical, count on PCC to help you meet the challenges of determining which type of colorant is optimal for you!