When it comes to coloring plastics, there are a few options that manufacturers typically choose. For instance, some of the most common include masterbatches (MB) and polypropylene (PP). Both terms are deeply related but are applied to different terms.
So, if you are curious about the difference between PP and MB, today, we will offer an explanation of how both of these materials are similar and distinct from each other. However, before discussing the differences, it is necessary to understand how both of them work individually.
What is Color masterbatch?
Color masterbatch or MB is a plastic additive whose main function is to color plastics. It is a granulated particle that is mixed with resin raw material and pigment auxiliary agents. After it is blended along with matrix resin and the rest of the materials, the result is a colored plastic product.
In general words, a plastic masterbatch is a concentrated mix of different pigments and additives that have been encapsulated using heat into a carrier resin. Such a resin is cooled and is given its characteristic granular shape.
Masterbatches make it possible to color raw polymer without spending too much on costs. Therefore, we can say it is a good option for operators who want to save money in the manufacturing process.
What is polypropylene (PP)?
Polypropylene or PP is a wider term utilized for a group of plastics, typically thermoplastics. It may include plastic parts for machinery and packaging, among many other applications. PP may need masterbatches to be colored, as it is their main function.
What is the difference between plastic masterbatch and plastic pellets?
Both terms are similar but they are not the same. Firstly, plastic masterbatches can be deemed as a type of plastic granule or pellet whose main function is to color resin when mixed with other materials. It can be present in different colors, allowing the operator to find the right pigments and create the right shades in easy steps.
So, in general terms, we can say that “polypropylene” is a category of plastics while “plastic masterbatches” are the pigments utilized to color all the products that are manufactured using such plastics.
Where are plastic masterbatches used?
Almost every plastic that has color utilizes masterbatches. It is the standard material in the modern industry due to its affordability. It is available in different shades, including transparent, pastel colors, pearlescent, and even fluorescent shades.
Some companies focus on special plastic bends and can manufacture specific shades for their clients. Typically, masterbatches are compatible with Polyolefin, like Pet or PP, and even PET and ABS.
Plastic masterbatches are also extremely resistant to different conditions. Most of the time, these plastics can be resistant to harsh weather and even UV, making it almost impossible for the object to lose its color in the long run. Furthermore, these plastics are extremely resistant to heat, making it possible for them to survive at high temperatures. These plastics are also antimicrobials, flame retardants, and phosphorescent, among many other characteristics depending on their structure.
The production of masterbatches is bound to the current standards in the plastic industry. It should also follow certain customer specifications. Masterbatches can save costs and can increase productivity levels simultaneously, making them an excellent choice for coloring different objects.
It is possible to find many manufacturers specifically focused on masterbatches instead of a whole range of plastics. Most of the time, these companies provide this service to other companies who manufacture PP non-woven fabric, polyester yarn, and thermoformed sheets, among many other applications.
The main difference between PP and MB is that PP is a category of plastics, while MB is a color additive utilized to give a particular shade to those plastics. Therefore, while both concepts are quite similar, one derivates from the other, and, therefore, PP is a “wider” term and cannot be given a very specific definition.
It is complicated to define PP due to the many types of applications in agglomerates. However, when it comes to masterbatches, it refers exclusively to pigmentation. It can help industries save costs and build high-quality objects while also maximizing the productivity of their companies in the long run.