The Science of Color Matching – Flexible Plastic Compounding
The Science of Color Matching - Flexible Plastic Compounding
Color plays a crucial role in our daily lives, influencing our emotions, perceptions, and even our purchasing decisions. From consumer goods to medical devices, color consistency is essential for maintaining brand integrity, customer satisfaction and safety. Explore the science behind color matching in flexible plastic compounding and how OTECH Compounds can help you color match on time and on budget.
Color Matching Challenges in Flexible Plastic Compounding:
The process of color matching in flexible plastic compounding presents unique challenges due to the characteristics of plastic materials. Plastics have inherent color variations resulting from factors such as polymer type, fillers, additives, and processing conditions. OTECH uses top of industry tools, paired with years of expertise to make your exact color matching requirements a reality.
Pre-colored Compound Versus Concentrate:
Depending on volumes, most compounders are not always happy to “pre-color” flexible compounds and will direct you to use concentrate. Sometimes we find that customers are not set up with sophisticated feeding systems for concentrate and would just prefer to buy pre-colored compound and let it run. OTECH can make consistent, high quality pre-colored compounds from lot to lot, and be extremely competitive to concentrate.
Color Matching Techniques:
To address the challenges of color matching, OTECH employs various techniques and technologies. Let's explore:
- Color Formulation Software: Advanced color formulation software assists us in creating accurate color recipes. These programs consider factors such as the base polymer, desired color, and target application. By taking into account the physical properties of the polymer and the intended processing conditions, the software recommends the appropriate colorants and their proportions.
- Colorant Selection: Colorants are crucial in achieving the desired color in flexible plastic compounding. They come in various forms, including pigments and dyes. Pigments are insoluble particles that provide color through reflection or absorption, while dyes are soluble substances that impart color through molecular dispersion.
- Quality Control: Maintaining color consistency throughout production batches is essential. Quality control processes, such as color measurement and visual inspection, ensure that each batch meets the specified color requirements. Statistical process control (SPC) techniques help identify any deviations from the target color and enable corrective measures to be taken promptly.
Benefits and Applications:
Accurate color matching offers numerous benefits across various industries. Here are a couple notable applications:
- Medical: Color consistency is critical for medical applications, ensuring that materials and compliant and color coded for safety - colors must match seamlessly.
- Consumer Goods: Plastic products like toys, household appliances, electronic devices, wire and cable, and footwear most often require color customization. Color matching enables manufacturers to meet specific design requirements and attract consumers with visually appealing products.
To learn more about the markets we support, visit: otechcompounds.com/markets/
Our color matching capabilities and equipment coupled with our knowledge of thermoplastic compounds and process makes your exacting color match requirements a reality. Our color development team will match your color from a variety of color standards such as raw materials, finished parts, pantone® color swatches, and or pantone® numbers. OTECH matches colors on time and on budget.
OTECH Corporation develops, designs and custom manufactures high-quality specialty PVC compounds, thermoplastic elastomers and alloys used in electrical wire and cable, footwear, housewares, roofing, agricultural applications and automotive components among many others. Known for its customized product approach, strong development capability, personalized technical services, and customer responsiveness, OTECH boasts more than 100 UL-approved products including highly specialized flame retardant compounds, low-temperature compounds, and thermoplastic elastomer compounds. All of OTECH's products are manufactured in its 250,000 sq. ft. facility in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. For more information, visit otechcompounds.com or phone 219.778.8001.