The African American Museum is the nation’s newest repository of history and the first green museum on the National Mall. Plastic – from safety equipment during the construction phase to pipes, ceilings, insulation and skylights – played a role in making the stunning building a reality.
Your competitive advantage starts long before consumers ever rest their eyes on your product. Your edge is the plastic additives implemented during the production process. Additives allow you to modify your polymer’s properties for enhanced results. Additives can be broken down into two distinct fields: performance and manufacturing.
Visual additives are used to quickly catch a consumer’s attention. To convince customers to buy your product, you have to make it stand out from the competition. By contrast, performance additives, which affect and modify the characteristics of the resin, are the unseen (and often unsung) workhorses of the plastics world.
Everything made of plastic is vulnerable to the suns harmful UV rays. Your plastic Adirondacks, outdoor bar stools, corn hole set and grill accessories can’t fight the dangerous combination of UV radiation and air on their own. With the help of UV packages, plastic products have an excellent long-term defense against photodegradation. UV packages inhibit or absorb the UV light, which dissipates the excess energy and prevents the creation of free radicals.
Another useful tool for plastics manufacturers to enhance aesthetics in plastic products are optical brighteners. They are designed to brighten colors or mask yellowing in plastics. They work via a fluorescent mechanism, absorbing light in the UV spectrum and emitting it in the blue range of the visible spectrum, resulting in a brighter, fresher appearance.
Plastics can be naturally sticky and have a high coefficient friction when coming in contact with other plastic parts or other surfaces. For certain applications, this can cause a range of processing or performance challenges such as parts sticking to the mold surface during ejection, minor differences in part dimensions which makes assembly difficult to complete, and sheet or film adhering to itself. With these types of challenges in mind, slip additives help to achieve positive solutions by promoting the de-nesting and ejecting of parts of highly intricate shapes.
Anti-block functional additives are another important tool in the material arsenal for plastics processors. This highly useful additive reduces the friction on the product surface and imparts lubricity for ease of use. In all types of plastic films for flexible packaging and other applications, anti-blocking performance it vital for further handling and converting of the material. Plastic layers tend to stick together and the addition of an anti-blocking agent creates space between two plastic layers (surface roughness) thus preventing a phenomenon called blocking.
Q: What is an Antistatic additive? A: Antistatic additives have static dissipative qualities that prevent static charges that build up on the surface of plastic products. Static can attract dust and dirt, cause clinging or sticking, as well as even be a fire or explosion hazard if a static charge sparks in the presence of flammable liquids. While there are various antistatic sprays that can be applied to the surface of parts, the optimum method of tackling this problem is through at antistatic additive that becomes an inherent part of the plastic material.
UV stabilizers are additives for plastics that help mitigate deterioration or break-down of the plastics in products that are primarily used outdoors. These products might include but are not limited to lawn and garden equipment, pool equipment, pool and patio furniture, automotive application including both interior such as instrument and dash panels, and exterior parts. Sunlight, hot and cold temperatures and other weather situations can cause the properties that make plastic long lasting and beautiful to break down and cause color fading.