There are very few limitations to what can be achieved in transparent polymers, however less transparent polymers such as ABS, nylon and HDPE will not accommodate transparent and translucent colours. The translucency of these polymers will also significantly affect the overall appearance of special effect pigments such as pearlescents, metallics, flecks and fibres, etc.
What are the benefits of using universal masterbatches and will they give the same colour in all polymers?
Using universal masterbatches can reduce the need to purchase and hold stocks of several polymer specific versions, however finished product colours may vary depending on the base colour of each polymer used.
A translucent colour has a milky appearance which gives some opacity whereas a transparent colour has a clear look through without any opacity.
The terms let down rate (LDR) and dosing rate (DR) mean the same thing, this is the percentage ratio of masterbatch that has to be added to the finished product (e.g. 3% LDR, this can be calculated as 3grams of masterbatch to every 100grams of base polymer, or 3kg of masterbatch for every 100kg of base polymer.)
A lower let down can be more cost effective because the masterbatch will be more concentrated, however low let down rate masterbatches need to be thoroughly mixed to ensure the colourant is evenly distributed within the finished product. We recommend that transparent and translucent colours should be dosed at least 3% to ensure an even distribution of the colour.
Masterbatch is a much cleaner additive to use, it is also capable of incorporating metallic and pearlescent pigments.
Masterbatches can be either pre-blended by hand or blended using calibrated dosing equipment.