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What is the best filler for plastic? [Update 2021]

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Among many choices of plastic fillers, how to figure out the best filler for your plastic? In fact, each type of plastic filler suits best with specific resins, which means plastic firms need to consider some factors such as the end-product’s mechanical properties, purpose, production cost,…before choosing the most appropriate plastic fillers.

As plastic fillers are deemed as the most effective solution to cut production cost, the use of them has been remarkably increased year by year. However, due to a large number of plastic fillers that are available, many plastic firms struggle with hammering out the right one for their products, especially when many plastic fillers share some characteristics like brightness, flexibility, reasonable price,…So, what is the best filler for plastic and what factors exactly should be put into consideration before any decisions on plastic fillers be made? 

What is the best filler for plastic?
The use of plastic fillers has been remarkably increased year by year

1. The best filler for plastic industry

Calcium carbonate filler

There is no denying that the most popular plastic is filler calcium carbonate. In nature, this material exists in the form of limestone in a large quantity. It is also the main component of many marine mammals such as seashells, eggshells, snail shells and pearls. 

One of the most essential applications of calcium carbonate is filler masterbatch thus it accounts for up to 75% of total quantity. As calcium carbonate is able to match with most common types of plastic resins such as PP (Polypropylene), PE (Polyethylene), PS ( Polystyrene),…, it is widely used to create a wide variety of filler masterbatches. The characteristics and functions of each type of filler masterbatch mostly depend on plastic resins. And it is the result of the combination with plastic resins and other specific additives.

One of the most essential applications of calcium carbonate is filler masterbatch
One of the most essential applications of calcium carbonate is filler masterbatch

For example, PE filler masterbatch is the mixture of calcium carbonate, polyethylene resin and other specific additives and commonly used for packaging industry and injection moulding products. Meanwhile, PP filler masterbatch is created by combining CaCO3 with polypropylene and necessary additives. Woven sacks, FIBC and the products of extrusion/injection/blow moulding are amongst the most popular applications of this material.

So, what makes calcium carbonate the best filler for the plastic industry?

  • Reasonable price: as input material expense takes up to nearly a half of plastic products, it is extremely vital to have a reasonable source of raw materials. As such, compared to primary plastic which largely depends on the global market as its production connects closely with natural gas and oil, calcium carbonate filler is much cheaper and less uncertain, thus improving the cost effectiveness and the stability of input materials.
  • Mechanical properties enhancement: calcium carbonate filler is the key factor in boosting the rigidity, flexibility as well as reducing shrinkage rate.
Calcium carbonate filler is much cheaper and less uncertain compared to primary plastic
Calcium carbonate filler is much cheaper and less uncertain compared to primary plastic
  • Various applications: thanks to its moderate hardness, calcium carbonate filler can be easily processed into powder or granular. In addition, it can be mixed with various resins to create different outputs.
  • Formation increase: filler calcium carbonate supports thermal distribution in blow moulding and raffia, thus minimizing the bubbles on the plastic surface during the process.

Related: Top 3 suppliers for you to buy plastic filler calcium carbonate

Talc filler

Another filler for plastic is Talc (the name derives from Medieval Latin talcum). Talc is the softest mineral in the market. It has a wonderful resistance to heat, electricity and acids thus being widely applied in many industries such as plastic, paint and coatings, rubber, food, electric cable, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics,…

What is the best filler for plastic?
Talc is initially added to polypropylene to increase the rigidity

For plastic, talc is initially added to polypropylene to increase the rigidity. It then gradually goes with polyethylene and polyamides. Thanks to this material, plastic products are more thermal resistant, stable, well in-shape and more durable. Besides, it is suitable for most traditional production processes such as bag blowing, injection moulding, extrusion moulding, compression moulding,…without any requirements of equipment or production technology. 

Therefore, though talc price is relatively higher than calcium carbonate, it is one of the first choices when it comes to plastic fillers.

Related: Plastic filler talc 101: Components, properties and applications

Kaolin 

Kaolin is another type of clay mineral which is commonly seen in China. This material is mainly used in plastics as it has an excellent anti blocking capacity as well as an infrared absorber in laser marking. Furthermore, Kaolin can significantly increase the abrasion resistance and replace carbon black as a filler material.

What is the best filler for plastic?
Kaolin filler is mainly used in plastics as it has an excellent anti blocking capacity

Barium sulfate filler

It would be such a pity if the best filler for plastic list missed barium sulfate. This is an inorganic compound that is odorless and insoluble in water. It is commonly used as a plastic filler to increase the density of the polymer in vibrational mass damping applications as well as boosting the transparency of plastic bags. However, a disadvantage of barium sulfate filler is the low level of transparency and the high price. If customers require a high level of transparency, they must sort to a large amount of barium sulfate filler, which means it is much costly compared to other plastic fillers.

What is the best filler for plastic?
Barium sulfate is commonly used as a plastic filler to increase the density of the polymer

Glass

Glass fibers are one of the most well-known forms of glass filler. With an excellent transparency, consistent shaping ability, compressive resistance and superior thermal stability, glass fiber is widely applied in many fields, especially in automotive industry and household appliances production. However, the disadvantages of having glass in the plastic products is low surface quality, very viscous when melted, low weldability and warpage.

What is the best filler for plastic?
Glass fiber filler is widely applied in automotive industry and household appliances production

Sodium sulfate filler

Sodium sulfate (also known as sodium sulphate or sulfate of soda) is a type of inorganic compound with formula Na2SO4. This material is white, non-toxic, odorless, tasteless and highly soluble in water. 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 an effective plastic filler.

Sodium sulfate filler is highly transparent and reasonable

2. What should be considered to choose the best filler for plastic?

To find out the best filler for your products, plastic firms should bear in mind these followings:

  • End-products standard requirements: the mechanic characteristics of end-products must be the first priority before you look for a plastic filler. As different fillers have distinctive properties and functions, thus you have to be completely clear about your purposes (cost reduction, properties enhancement,…).
  • Price: luckily, most plastic fillers are at a reasonable price compared to primary plastic. However, the final price normally fluctuates slightly as a result of delivery cost, input material expense,…which makes plastic firms consider carefully to successfully choose the right ones.
  • Delivery and guarantee: as all orders of plastic filler usually come at a large quantity and be made several times during a long period, which may lead to the unexpected, you need to make sure your supplier’s guarantee’s policy can meet your requirements.

3. EuroPlas – Top 5 filler masterbatch manufacturer in the world

Over 13 years in the plastic industry, EuP deeply understands what customers need and thereby, proudly provides them with the highest-quality filler masterbatch. 

What is the best filler for plastic?
EuP provides customers with the highest-quality filler masterbatch

Our most popular products including:

  • PP filler masterbatch: the combination of PP resin, high-quality CaCO3 and additives.
  • PE filler masterbatch: is produced with PE resin, high-quality CaCO3 and additives. 
  • PS filler masterbatch: the mixture of PS resin, CaCO3 and other additives. 
  • BiOMates: includes bio plastic, CaCO3 and other additives. 

For further information and samples, please contact us HERE!

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