This year's FAKUMA highlights from AF-COLOR were a mixture of proven product solutions and many new developments from the AF-Color® (color masterbatches), AF-Carbon® (technical black masterbatches), AF-Complex® (additive masterbatches) and AF-Eco® (biodegradable masterbatches) portfolios.
AF-Color® LA for high-contrast and high-colour laser markings
Especially in the automotive industry, traceability and processing speed through clearly recognisable and machine-readable codes are essential. The laser-absorbing (LA) product line includes additives for uncolored or black materials as well as combination masterbatches (additive + color) with maximum flexibility in terms of color composition: whether dark, light markings on white, black or colored substrate, the masterbatch manufacturer develops many combinations according to customer requirements. A new feature is the possibility to realise high-contrast colored laser markings (see picture 2).
In addition to an EBA 950439 LA black, which provides a sharp contrast with its deep black color and a light laser marking, its latest experiments in a polyamide matrix show individual and, above all, colorful results.
Masterbatches for improved UV resistance
This masterbatch is also of particular interest to the automotive industry. The newly developed PA 950841 UV black combines a special carbon black grade with a tailor-made light stabiliser package and is particularly suitable for interior and exterior applications. According to the masterbatch producer, the weathering tests carried out according to the VW standard PV 3930 as well as the QUV test show a significant delay in the ageing process of polyamide compounds.
Blowing agent masterbatches for technical applications
AF-COLOR reports a strong further development in the area of the AF-Complex® portfolio and the various blowing agent masterbatches. According to the company, the use of this additive product line is characterised above all by an improvement in compatibility with the polymer of the end application and thus the best possible preservation of the mechanical properties, but also of the surface quality. Whether for lighter parts, avoidance of sink marks, reduction of warpage or cycle time – the company has a wide variety of solutions at hand. The formulations of the new product family are based on a variety of carrier materials, from standard polymers such as polyolefins to engineering polymers such as polyamides or polyesters. It is also suitable for various types of processing such as foam injection moulding or foam extrusion.
Sustainable in many respects
In keeping with this year's trade fair motto "Shaping the future sustainably", AF-COLOR has also developed many different approaches to solutions in order to maintain the circular use of plastics for as long as possible.
"In case that plastics cannot adhere to the concept of the circular economy, it is important to have an alternative to relieve the burden on the environment," says Dirk Schöning, Sales Director at AF-COLOR. "Our AF-Eco® masterbatch range offers the perfect solution here with biodegradable color and additive masterbatches".
As a masterbatch manufacturer, there is the opportunity to influence the circular economy in various ways. Not only in the area of development and production of a product, but also before, during and after the recycling process, thanks to the multi-layered product solutions. AF-COLOR will present the main products at the fair.
AF-Carbon® IR - soot-free masterbatches for infrared-detectable packaging
Here, the product portfolio has been adapted so that an ever higher percentage of colored packaging can be recycled, as the soot often used in the past led to faulty detection of the packaging to be sorted. When the recyclability of a deep black product is required, AF-Carbon® PE 950811 IR black, is the right choice.
Calcium oxide batch for an improved recycling process
Essentially, the drying batch from the AF-Complex® range comprises a premium version (EBA 990341 Dry natural) - suitable for films >10µm as well as a standard version (PE 990805 Dry natural) for films >100µm and injection moulded parts. In addition to reducing moisture, these products also have a neutralising effect on any acidic components in the recyclates.
Odor absorber PE 950185 GA natural
Highly effective e.g. for sulphur and nitrogen components (caused by food residues) and particularly suitable for recycled PA, PE and PP.
Crosslinker from the AF-Complex® portfolio
To restore the properties of recycled plastic in the best possible way and thus improve its subsequent usability even in demanding applications, the masterbatcher's in-house research and development department uses different crosslinkers. It recommends PP 990449 VN natural for adjusting the flow behaviour of recycled PE and a PA 990790 VN natural for recycled polyamide.
"Finally, it should be mentioned that especially for masterbatch production with recyclate carriers, attention must be paid to the new inherent color and texture of recycled substrates. However, you can be sure that our team of colorists will achieve your color goal with individually adjusted formulations," says Dr Inno Gaul, Head of Research and Development at AF-COLOR.