Ampacet Extends REC-NIR-BLACK Range with NIR-Detectable Masterbatch for Black Flexible Applications

Ampacet, a global masterbatch leader, has added REC-NIR-BLACK PE 512 for black flexible applications to its carbon-free REC-NIR-BLACK masterbatch range.

REC-NIR-BLACK masterbatches are near-infrared (NIR) transparent to allow sorting with near-infrared optical sensors. The reuse and recycling of black packaging waste supports Circular Economy initiatives.

REC-NIR-BLACK PE 512 is NIR-detectable, while providing a high level of opacity for black flexible packaging. Products made with this NIR-transparent masterbatch solution are oriented to the polyethylene flow when using a sorting model suitable for dark plastics. REC-NIR-BLACK PE 512 is suitable exclusively for indoor use because, unlike conventional carbon black masterbatches, it does not provide a stabilizing effect against UV degradation.

To recycle plastic packaging into useable resins, plastic waste is pre-sorted by resin type at plastic recovery facilities. Pre-sorting, an essential and challenging step, especially with the various characteristics of each resin type, results in a pure stream of resin. In most recovery facilities, automated sorting technologies use near-infrared optical sorters.

Near-infrared optical sorting, however, cannot identify and separate plastics that contain carbon black, the most commonly-used black pigment. Carbon black absorbs a significant part of the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum, preventing the reflection of infrared light back to the sensor and consequently blocking the recognition of the resin’s fingerprint by a NIR scan.

While most black packaging cannot be sorted by recycling companies and can only be used for energy recovery, packaging using Ampacet’s NIR-detectable black masterbatch products can be scanned by near-infrared technology for automated sorting at recovery facilities.

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