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Liquid Color Overview


Color is critical to brand owners, many whose products are identified with color. Think of Coke ‘red.’ Coca-Cola spends millions of dollars to ensure that their red is just that – theirs! It’s not just a color ‘red’ but is their brand identity. The same holds true for companies like Home Depot, Target, UPS and many more.  (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/28/colors-in-corporate-branding-and-design/)

Processors know however, that colorants can be difficult to manage. Liquid colors have become the coloring system of choice in recent years for a number of reasons including lower costs, ease of handling and higher quality.

The cost of liquid color can be lower – 10-40% less compared to concentrates – for certain applications. There are several reasons for this: first you’re not paying for the base resin; secondly, the letdown ratios can be lower, meaning less colorant being used which requires lower inventory levels.  Additionally, liquid color requires a simpler, inexpensive and portable metering device that easily attaches to the machine and feeds directly into the throat.

Liquid color from Plastics Color is compatible with virtually all polyolefin, styrenic and engineering resin systems, and functional additives such as UV stabilizers, anti-stat agents and others can be easily added to the liquid color. In some sensitive types of molding processes the material tends to break down.  With liquid color there is no heat history with pigments.  This enables some processes to be more stable resulting in higher quality parts.

The color changeover time is very fast for liquid colorants, which helps processors increase their efficiency and maintain higher rates of production. Generally, when using liquid color you can insert the delivery tube over the screw which means you won’t need to clean out the entire hopper between color changes.

The key to deciding on whether to choose liquid or concentrate depends upon several factors: the length of the production run, the color changes required, and the overall cleanliness of your plant, to name a few.

While liquid color is more compatible with various base resins, processors need to provide detailed information to Plastics Color when choosing to use liquid color. Because we choose specific carriers for the base resin, the more information you, the processor, provide the more accurately Plastics Color can get the exact vehicle system.

Plastics Color works in partnership with its customers to ensure that their color requirements are met in the most efficient and cost effective manner. And because we provide both liquid and concentrates, we are not going to oversell one vs. the other. We will make the best recommendation for the type of colorant based on your specific situation. It’s this level of trust that PCC has built with its customers that allow us to work together and find solutions to the most challenging color demands.

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