In the functional additive bandwidth, plastics processors need to be aware of clarifying agents as an important solution for polypropylene (PP). PP is a highly preferred choice for many transparent applications due to its strong physical properties and sustainability along with the potential to achieve a high level of clarity. By itself, however, the material is a semi-crystalline polymer and does not have the clarity or transparency of amorphous polymers - it is naturally translucent or opaque. As a result, the crystal structure of the resin needs to be adapted if a very clear and transparent end product is desired.
Polypropylene can be made highly transparent with the use of clarifying agents. For numerous end-use products manufactured via injection molding, blow molding, or thermoforming, polypropylene provides a unique balance of benefits such as low cost, easy processing, high stiffness, and low density compared to other polymers. Clarified PP is offered today as an outstanding alternative to other transparent polymers. It allows the packaging and medical industries to develop new applications with a unique combination of properties including transparency, gas barrier, chemical resistance, and cost effectiveness.
Clarifiers increase the clarity of PP by reducing the size of the spherulites. Smaller spherulites allow more light through the polymer, which decreases the haze of the part. Unlike nucleating agents, clarifiers are transparent, which also helps to decrease haze values. Key injection molding PP applications include housewares, food storage containers, and caps and closures.
Plastics Color Corp. is a highly experienced supplier of colorants, compounds, and additive masterbatches. We can custom formulate a functional additive package to meet the requirements of your application. We offer clarifying agents for PP as an additive masterbatch or as part of your colorant package. Need help? Send us your questions through the contact form at the bottom of this page.