Optical brightener masterbatch is used to mask the inherent yellowness of plastic and replace it with a brighter look by increasing the overall amount of blue light reflected. In addition, this material also offers end-products better glossiness and higher smoothness.
- Packaging films: food packaging film, shopping bags,...
- Single-used products such as cutleries, glass, food containers,...
- Household appliances that require an attractive appearance.
Antimicrobial plastic masterbatch are a solution to prevent microbial growth in plastic products. The common types of microorganisms we can avoid if using this additive are algae, bacteria, and fungi.
The working mechanism of antibacterial masterbatch for plastics is preventing bacteria from growing and reproducing when they come into contact with the surface. In essence, these micro animals will be killed off.
Advantages of antimicrobial masterbatch are:
- Protecting plastic products from bacteria and viruses
- Prolonging the shelf life of final products
- Keeping hygiene safety for food contact packaging
- Helping final products remove strange odors
Degradation is initiated by the action of highly reactive free radicals caused by heat, radiation, mechanical shear, or metallic impurities. The initiation of free radicals may occur during polymerization, processing, or fabrication. Therefore, we need antioxidant masterbatch to prevent oxidative degradation.
Advantages of antioxidant plastic additives:
- Avoiding compromising the raw polymers during the manufacturing process
- Delaying the process of oxidation and increasing plastic shelf life
- Preserving mechanical properties of plastics
Processing aid masterbatch helps improve some common phenomena in polymer processing such as die build-up, shark skin, melt fracture, etc. They contain Polymer Processing Aid (PPA) with Fluoropolymer stuck cylinder surface, which decreases friction and increases slip between the outer layer of polymer flow and the metal surface. Thus, they support the mixing process in the cylinder, even the heat profile, preventing die build-up, shark skin, and melt fracture. PPA does not react with other additives or alter the mechanical properties of plastic products.
Advantages of processing aid masterbatch:
- Improve the flow characteristics of plastics during processing
- Reduce die build-up, and melt fracture
- Lower consumption energy
- Reduce shark skin (especially if use recycle plastic)
- Increase out-put
In the environment, sunlight, UV light, heat, and moisture,... attack plastic products, resulting in polymer brittleness, changing color, and physical properties. Therefore, we need weather (UV) stabilizer for plastics to prolong use time and save investment costs.
Weather stabilizer plastic additive advantages:
- Remain mechanical properties: Weather (UV) stabilizer is added to plastics to prevent degradative effects of exposure to sunlight, UV light, and weather. In draconic lab-testing Weather (UV) Stabilizer Additive is effective to prolong aging time and retain mechanical properties (impact strength, tensile strength, elongation, etc.)
- Preserve color: Reduce phenomena like chalking and color fading when plastic products expose under sunlight directly.
Application: Polymer equipment at playgrounds and stadiums, artificial grass, non woven bags, jumbo bags, and agriculture film.
Odor removers (or Fragrance masterbatch) are used to reduce unpleasant odors caused by (recycled) plastics. They help improve finished product quality and product competitiveness. The advantages of these masterbatch are:
- Removing the unpleasant smells of plastic
- Improving the quality of end-products
Application: Home appliances, toys, textile packaging.
The clarifying agent for plastics is a material that helps to raise the clarity of PP by lowering the size of the spherulites in the plastic. The haze of the component was spoken for by the smaller spherulites, which allowed more light to pass through the polymer. Clarifiers, in contrast to nucleating agents, are transparent, which helps to minimize haze values and also makes them easier to see.
Clarifying plastic additive is widely used in injection moldings such as houseware, food storage containers, caps, and closures, blown film, and extruding sheets,...Also, it can be applied in various resins including PP, HDPE, HDPE / PP, and LLDPE / PP.
Moisture exists in environment, even polymer material, especially technical resins that can
cause fish eye, surface defects on final products.
Therefore, manufacturers should use desiccants to mitigate moisture in polymer processing (cast, blowing film, etc.)
Desiccant contains Calcium Oxide (CaO), which is a strong water absorber. In polymer processing, Calcium Oxide disperses, eliminates moisture, and prevents phenomena such as fisheye. It also solves moisture problems in thermoforming (blow film, film casting, blow molding, etc.) and injection molding. Especially for recycled plastic, it helps remove moisture and cuts out the oxidizing effect that occurs during the recycling of the polymer.
Application: Blow film, cast film, sheet/pipe extrusion.
Fire retardant masterbatch
Most thermoplastics are flammable and easily burn when heated at high temperatures. Therefore, manufacturers should use flame retardant to meet the standards of Fire Safety and avoid property damage. Typically, people will use additives with a dosage of 5 to 7 percent for blowing thick film PE (over 40 micrometers).
Application: Blow film, cast, injection
Heat insulation masterbatch
The current polymers are prone to a variety of degradation processes throughout the production of plastics and rubbers, including oxidation, UV damage, and heat deterioration.
During processing, temperatures are often considerably above 180 degrees Celsius. Plastic materials will practically disintegrate at these temperatures and lose the necessary characteristics.
Plastics are given heat insulation additives or heat stabilizers to avoid the polymer's breakdown during processing. Heat stabilizers shield the qualities of the overall compound against heat damage when they are introduced into a polymer, either during the production process or during regular usage of the completed product. The look, strength, elasticity, durability, and performance qualities of the polymer are maintained by heat stabilizers.
Laser marking additive masterbatch
Laser light is not absorbed by plastics. Plastics are therefore given laser marking additives to increase their receptivity to laser energy. As a consequence, laser technology allows you to label a larger variety of plastics.
For instance, you may make marks that are very visible by adding a laser-sensitive additive to plastic. The development of warnings, identification, and other information that has to be very apparent all benefit from these high-contrast marks.
Additionally, it is possible to produce markings that are resistant to fading, solar damage, and other environmental variables by carefully choosing the correct laser marking additive. They are therefore perfect for situations where marks must survive prolonged exposure to weather.
3. Filler masterbatch
3.1 What is filler masterbatch?
Filler masterbatch is the combination of mineral (CaCO3, NaSO4, BaSO4, Talc,...), carrier resin and other special additives in accordance with customer’s demand.
Filler masterbatch are particles added to plastic production to cut cost as well as supporting in enhancing some properties of end-products. Plastic filler materials are divided into two groups:
- The inorganic (also known as mineral) fillers such as calcium carbonate (limestone), magnesium silicates (talc), calcium sulfate, mica, calcium silicate, barium sulfate and kaolin (China clay).
- The organic plastic fillers such as tree bark flour, nut flours, chicken feathers, and rice hulls.
Normally, the inorganic filler materials are more prefered in industrial production as their simple molecular composition makes them more easily to be processed.
3.2 Filler masterbatch manufacturing process
The production of filler masterbatch includes 4 steps:
Step 1: Mineral filler (CaCO3, NaSO4, BaSO4, Talc,...), additives and plastic resin are mixed together by high-speed mixer.
Step 2: The mixture is completely melted at high temperature.
Step 3: That mixture is then cooled and put into a screw extruder, pushed forward and pressed into the mold.
Step 4: The output of the extruder is cut into similar small pieces. They are filler masterbatch applied into plastic manufacture.
3.3 Common types of filler masterbatch
Calcium carbonate filler masterbatch
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can be found in limestone, eggshells, snail shells, seashells and pearls.
In the plastic industry, calcium carbonate is widely used as one of the plastic filler materials. It improves mechanical properties (tensile strength and elongation) and electrical properties (volume resistivity) of finished products. More over, CaCO3 filler masterbatch helps significantly decrease the overall production cost, which often accounts for up to 60% of product’s price.
Compared to primary plastic, CaCO3 is more reasonable and less fluctuating, thus degrading the uncertainty for the business.
Magnesium silicates filler masterbatch (Talc filler masterbatch)
Talc is a clay mineral, composed of hydrated magnesium silicate and made of three main components including magie, silic and oxi.
In nature, talc is a common metamorphic mineral in metamorphic belts that contain ultramafic rocks, such as soapstone (a high-talc rock), and within whiteschist and blueschist metamorphic terranes.
Talc filler masterbatch is widely used in the plastic industry to enhance durability, thermal resistance, anti UV and anti aging ability.
Other than that, talc can also be added into compounds (tailor-made materials to serve for a specific plastic product) to enhance end-products properties such as rigidity, modulus bending, flexural strength as well as decreasing the level of shrinkage, warping and improving the conductivity and surface rigidity.
Sodium sulfate filler masterbatch (NaSO4 filler masterbatch)
Sodium sulfate is another well-known filler matserbatch. Its formula contains NaSO4 which mostly found in the form of decahydrate (known as mirabilite mineral or Glauber’s salt).
NaSO4 is commonly known for its high solubility in water and it rises more than tenfold between 0 °C to 32.384 °C. One outstanding advantage of sodium sulfate is its transparency (more clear than calcium carbonate) and its reasonable price (cheaper than barium sulfate). Therefore, sodium sulfate is widely used as one of the plastic filler masterbatch.
Barium sulfate masterbatch (BaSO4 masterbatch)
Barium sulfate is an inorganic compound that is odorless and insoluble in water. It is added to plastic filler to increase the density of the polymer in vibrational mass damping applications. In polypropylene and polystyrene plastics, it is commonly used as a filler with a proportion of 70%.
One disadvantage of barium sulfate is the relatively high price compared to other plastic filler materials. The more transparency required, the larger proportion of BaSO4 needed, thus costing plastic firms a greater amount of production expense. That more or less raises hesitation from customers’ view as they are looking for an alternative solution for primary plastic to address the cost’s problem, not to get another burden.
Bio filler masterbatch
The difference among bio filler masterbatch and the above types of filler masterbatch is that its carrier plastic is not resin but bio-resin (bioplastics).
Bio resin is made from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust,... Therefore, it allows end-products to be biodegradable after use, thus minimizing the harmful effects on the environment.
III. Applications of masterbatch
Thanks to its tremendous benefits, masterbatch has become an indispensable component in many plastic processing methods.
1. Blown film and lamination
Blown film is one of the most popular plastic manufacturing methods worldwide. As it offers end-products great uniform properties regarding the length and width and specifically preferred in the packaging industry.
Filler masterbatch is used in the blown film technology to improve rigidity, control heat, enhance turbidity, and cut down production costs and is a more prominently used technology in the packaging industry.
Besides, blocking in blown film is most frequently phenomenon in polyethylene and polypropylene film processing. Therefore, plastic manufacturers tend to use slip and antiblock masterbatch to address this problem.
2. PP raffia/Yarn
Another application of filler masterbatch is PP raffia/yarm. Polypropylene yarn, also known as PP yarn and polyp yarn, is widely acknowledged as the lightest and most practical yarn used in the textile industry.
The sanitary nature of polypropylene yarn prevents allergic responses. The breathing structure expel moisture produced by sweat and other similar sources; it does not retain moisture or water and does not contain dirt or stains.
In terms of returning to nature and reusability, it is also in a better position than many other yarn types.
At the necessary ratios, it is a kind of yarn that can also be given exceptional strength properties. It has qualities like strong durability and unbreakability that were obtained through manufacturing applications.
Due to its technical qualities, it is not only the most popular yarn type for narrow weaving but is also utilized in a variety of other industries, including the production of household textiles, socks, and carpet.
3. PP non-woven fabric
As the name speaks for itself, non-woven fabric is a type of fabric produced without weaving or knitting. With a view to optimizing the production of nonwoven, calcium carbonate filler has been taken into use. Being made of calcium carbonate powder (CaCO3), plastic resins, and other specific additives, calcium carbonate filler is one of the most effective material solutions for nonwoven manufacturing. The application of this material offers end-products several benefits:
- Cost reduction
- Properties enhancement
- Productivity improvement
- Environmental friendliness
4. Polyester and Nylon yarn
4.1. Polyster yarn
Polyester yarn is a type of synthetic yarn that is frequently marketed as acrylic or novelty yarn. While acrylic yarns are often machine washable, affordable, warm, and robust, they also have a tendency to pill and don't have the same level of breathability as natural fibers. Novelty yarns come in a variety of odd textures, such as faux fur-like yarns and ladder or ribbon yarns with sequins or spangles woven right into the fiber.
When knitters and other fiber artists are allergic to animal fiber, polyester yarn is sometimes used as a replacement for wool due to its warmth and durability. Additionally, it is frequently used to knit household items and garments for infants and children, both of which call for regular washing.
4.2. Nylon yarn
Nylon yarn is a synthetic material that may be designed to have the appearance and texture of many different natural fibers. When silk became harder to come by, nylon was initially developed as a replacement. In comparison to natural fiber strands, nylon is robust, somewhat elastic, and typically less expensive. For novice knitters, it could be a suitable material option because it is typically simple to work with.
Yarns made from natural fibers, like wool, may be highly costly. This is particularly true if the yarn is organic and needs to be imported. It may be used to make a variety of clothes, accessories, and even home décor items in place of these natural fiber yarns.
Numerous strands may protrude from one base thread in certain nylon yarn that is intended to resemble fur. It could take longer to master this kind of yarn than others and be more challenging to work with. Locally, knitting lessons are typically given, and books and websites that teach knitting patterns and techniques are also accessible.
Extrusion is also used for the manufacturing of plastic components for electronic gadgets and is one of the important techniques in filler masterbatch manufacturing. The process is used to manufacture bulk volumes of desired product and as a result has a high demand for manufacturing appliance components and packaging. The application of extrusion technology improves the rigidity and bearing capacity of finished products such as PVC pipes, straws, and gutters.
6. Injection molding
Injection molding offers certain advantages for filler masterbatch. Some of them are:
- The manufacturing lead time decreases due to good thermal conductivity of CaCO3
- It offers increased stability during the product forming process
- It saves energy due to a decrease in manufacturing lead time
Basically, thermoforming is a general term that refers to the process of transforming a plastic sheet into a 3-dimensional shape by using heat, vacuum, and pressure.
The use of filler masterbatch in thermoforming offers end-products several advantages.
- Cost reduction: calcium carbonate filler which has a cheap price partly replaces virgin resins.
- Properties enhancement: By adding filler masterbatch in thermoforming, end-products are equipped with better mechanical properties such as tear resistance, anti-friction and anti-slipping property, dimensional stability, rigidity, impact strength and printability.
- Productivity improvement: CaCO3 is a good thermal conductive. Therefore, using filler masterbatch in thermoforming reduces processing temperature and shortens the products cycle, thus saving energy consumption as well as increasing productivity.
Environmental friendliness: compared to fossil resin, which releases a great amount of carbon footprint during its manufacturing process, the production of filler masterbatch is far more environmentally friendly.
IV. Overview of masterbatch market
According to Germany’s Ceresana market research institute
, plastic masterbatch demand is projected to 5.5 million tons by 2031. Besides, Grand View Research expect the Global Masterbatch Market value in 2028 will be around USD$ 14,2 billion.
The growth of the global masterbatch market is likely to be driven by the increasing consumption of masterbatch in various end-user industries such as construction, packaging, consumer goods, automotive, and agriculture sectors.
Color masterbatch market
Related: Black masterbatch market report (estimated to 2030)
TiO2, a chemical included in white masterbatch
, are favored by manufacturer of toys, electrical appliances, automotive parts, furniture, and films due to its UV protection feature. This leads to the consumption of white masterbatch upto 1.4 million ton in 2021.
According to a report by Global Info Research, the black masterbatch market volume is identified at around 2.70 billion USD in 2019. Another Prudour report shows that the forecast market volume for 2018 is 2.88 billion USD while a report by Market Watch shows that the market capacity in 2020 is forecast at USD 2.75 billion. Although the numbers have a certain difference, they all fluctuate around 2.70 - 2.80 billion USD. This shows that the black masterbatch market capacity is in this range.
Regarding market growth, Global Info Research and Market Watch forecast an average growth of about 0.2% per year to US$2.79 billion by 2026
. Some other sources such as Prudour or Markets At Markets provides a forecast figure of about 4.9 - 5.4%.
Additive masterbatch market
The packaging end-use industry has witnessed increased consumption of masterbatch owing to its antibacterial, flame retardant, ultraviolet, antifog, antistatic, barrier (optimal heat and light transmittance), antioxidant (protection of foods), processing (foaming agents, process aids, and release agents), and antilocking properties. This results to the estimation of demand additive masterbatch is around 20% of the masterbatch market
Filler masterbatch market
According to Grand View Research, the global filler masterbatch market was valued at USD 307.04 million in 2020 and is estimated to reach USD 521.81 million in 2028. Market is mainly driven by growing demand from packaging, building & construction, automotive, and consumer goods industries.
In 2020, polyethylene was the largest segment in filler masterbatch market and was valued at USD 162.81 million. The increased demand is driven by the growing application of polyethylene in the packaging industry.
Asia Pacific region was estimated to have the largest share in terms of revenue in the global
filler masterbatch market in 2020 due to increasing demand in automotive, consumer goods, and packaging industries.
As per Grand View Research analysis and estimates, European Plastic Company was one of the prominent manufacturers of filler masterbatch across the globe. Moreover, company’s strategic initiatives to moving toward biodegradable filler masterbatch are expected to increase its sales and maintain its position in the highly competitive market.